Del Mar urges Senate to act on “Cebu Press Free­dom” bill

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Gregg M. Ru­bio

Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar is ask­ing the Senate Com­mit­tee on Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment to pri­or­i­tize the ap­proval of House Bill No. 5688, which aims to de­clare Septem­ber 21 as Cebu Press Free­dom Day.

The Lower House ap­proved HB No. 5688 on July 26, 2017 to de­clare Septem­ber 21 “Spe­cial Work­ing Hol­i­day in the City of Cebu and the En­tire Prov­ince of Cebu, In­clud­ing its Highly Ur­ban­ized and Com­po­nent Cities.”

The bill is now with the com­mit­tee chaired by Sen­a­tor Juan Edgardo An­gara.

“Cebu Me­dia will be most ap­pre­cia­tive if you can have sub­ject bill ap­proved on third and fi­nal read­ing on or be­fore this Septem­ber 21st,” reads Del Mar’s let­ter dated Au­gust 29, 2017.

For al­most three decades now, the press in Cebu cel­e­brates Press Free­dom Week ev­ery third week of Septem­ber.

The an­nual ac­tiv­ity serves as a re­minder of the Septem­ber 21 dec­la­ra­tion of mar­tial law in the Philip­pines and rec­og­nizes the sig­nif­i­cant role of com­mu­nity me­dia as watchdog of gov­ern­ment and cat­a­lyst for so­cial change.

“The Cebu Press Free­dom Week serves as a com­pelling re­minder for the Cebu me­dia com­mu­nity to up­hold press free­dom and ac­count­abil­ity, sym­bol­izes the me­dia’s ca­pac­ity to set aside pro­fes­sional and busi­ness com­pet­i­tive­ness, and unite for wor­thy goals,” Del Mar said.

Del Mar said the cel­e­bra­tion of the Cebu Press Free­dom Week will be more mean­ing­ful and mem­o­rable with the dec­la­ra­tion of Septem­ber 21 of ev­ery year as a spe­cial work­ing hol­i­day.

In 2015, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, the Cebu City Coun­cil, and the Cebu Provin­cial Board, in sep­a­rate res­o­lu­tions, de­clared Septem­ber 21 as Cebu Press Free­dom Day.

The House, in a ple­nary ses­sion last Septem­ber 15, 2015, ap­proved House Res­o­lu­tion 231 (ear­lier cal­en­dared as H.R. 2354), also spon­sored by Del Mar, which de­clares Septem­ber 21 as Cebu Press Free­dom Day in the prov­ince and cities of Cebu.

Last Septem­ber 16, the Cebu City Coun­cil ap­proved Coun­cil Res. 13-0703-2015, au­thored by Coun­cilor Hanz Abella, which de­clared Septem­ber 21 as Cebu Press Free­dom Day in Cebu City.

Last Septem­ber 3, the Cebu Provin­cial Board passed Res­o­lu­tion 2201 spon­sored by for­mer board mem­ber Raul Al­coseba, also declar­ing Septem­ber 21 as Press Free­dom Day in the towns and com­po­nent cities of the prov­ince.

This year’s ac­tiv­i­ties of the 25th Cebu Press Free­dom Week 2017 kicked off last night with the search for Mr. and Miss Cebu Press Free­dom at Harold’s Ho­tel.

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