Duterte declares August 30 as National Press Freedom Day
August 30 has been declared National Press Freedom Day in honor of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, the father of Philippine Journalism.
Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar announced the news during the Malacañang press briefing today, April 27. "Sa mga kaibigan natin sa media, pinirmahan po naman ni Pangulong Duterte ang Republic Act No. 11699 na nagde-deklara sa August 30 ng bawat taon na National Press Freedom Day," Andanar said.
Del Pilar, who had the pen name "Plaridel," was born on Aug. 30, 1850.
The measure, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 13, hopes to raise awareness of the importance of the press, their rights and social responsibilities, and eliminate all forms of violence against the watchdogs.
To ensure the "meaningful observance" of National Press Freedom Day, the national government urges its agencies, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, and the private sector to "afford sufficient time and opportunity for their employees to engage and participate in any related activity."
Agencies such as the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are also encouraged to organize consciousness-raising activities on the matter.
The Philippines ranks as the seventh worst country for unsolved killings of media workers in the 2021 Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) Global Impunity Index. In addition, Reporters without Borders (known by its initials RSF) reported that 45 journalists were killed worldwide in the past year.
The country also placed 138th out of 180 countries in last year's World's Press Freedom Index by RSF.