IN recognition to the vital role played by the press in nation building, the House of Representatives passed bill on Philippine Press Freedom Day.
House Bill 9182 states that August 30, or the birthday of Marcelo H. Del Pilar will be known as Press Freedom Day.
The measure seeks to increase awareness of press freedom as a tool towards orderly society and transparent governance.
The principal authors of the bill are Ako Bicol Reps. Elizaldy Co and Alfredo Garbin and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.
The bill provides that a meaningful celebration of the National Press Freedm Day be observed by directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units to conduct activities related to the annual event.
In addition, the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are enjoined to organize “consciousness-raising activities on the importance of the press, their rights ansd social responsibilities and the elimination of all forms of violence against the press.”
Initially, the bill proposed November 23 as the Press Freedom Day in honor of the journalists who were massacred last 2009 in Maguindanao.
The Philippine Press Freedom Day seeks to promote and uphold freedom and heighten awareness of press freedom, so that journalists may freely and securely report the truth.