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