The Philippine Press Institute (PPI) with its institutional partner, the International Media Support (IMS), successfully established two additional regonal councils in the third quarter of 2023: the Central Luzon Media-Citizen Council (CLMCC) and the Region 8 Media-Citizen Council (R8-MCC). This is PPI’s commitment to support initiatives on media self-and-co-regulation, promote quality journalism to better safeguard media freedom and accountability and news subject’s right to reply, and give the public free, truthful and timely information.
R8-MCC and CLMCC, though the supervision of PPI during the former’s organizational workshop and the latter’s launch, considered their creation as a clamor from and a felt need by their council members and stakeholders to pursue what they had initially thought would be beneficial to their respective communities.
Both councils are regional, multi-sectoral and self-governing aimed at resolving issues and conflicts between and among aggrieved parties and journalists.
“Today, after six months, it now comes to bear fruit. CLMCC is a community-based group which will address abuses, malpractice and any other wrongdoings of media members in our region with an aim to resolve issues within the council to avoid resorting to other means against the media members while maintaining to uphold press freedom and harmony between and among all members of the community,” said CLMCC president Carmela Reyes-Estrope during the CLMCC’s launch and induction of officers. Present were members from the media, business, academe, law enforcement agencies, agriculture, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
In the same event, PPI executive director and head of the training operations and special projects Ariel Sebellino, presented the 5 core values of a contemporary Media-Citizen Council: What is your sense of purpose? Is it a felt need? How will it serve your community? Is it beneficial to media, its stakeholders and the citizenry? How will it enable media accountability and self/co-regulation?
A pledge of commitment by the CLMC officers and stakeholders ensued. During the oathtaking, Region 3 Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Region 3 OIC-Governor Atty. Maria Imelda-Quiambao-Tuazon said, “This is a good time for us to be in a partnership, for the betterment of your group and our group. We believe that the dissemination of any information that affects us, you and the rest of the community, is crucial especially in this day and age of cyber libel.” The IBP represents the legal sector in any Council.
Meanwhile, officers and members of the R8-MCC expressed enthusiasm about their Council which resulted to a productive organizational workshop. “Mabilis kami makabuo ng council at magtuloy-tuloy ito kasi gusto namin ang aming leader at naniniwala kami sa kanyang kakayahang mamuno,” said Ricky Brosas, elected Council trustee and anchor of “Tingog Naton” of the Calbayog-based Infinite Radyo in the light of commited leadership required to sustain a Council.
As a way forward, both regional Media-Citizen Councils in Region 8 and Central Luzon are gearing up for various activities towards the end of the year. They join the ranks of contemporary pro-active Media-Citizen Councils in Batangas, Iloilo, Davao and Aklan. Next in line are Surigao, Cotabato and General Santos. (Rissa Silvestre)