We join all journalists and members of the media in the Philippines and around the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day.
An open, free, and pluralistic press remains vital to a democratic, informed, and empowered society such as in our country. Its presence plays a key role in preventing people from being unknowing of essential and life-saving information and government programs and services, to which the situation we are all in currently calls for.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of an open and free press has become very evident as it allows for the flow of essential and life-saving information for us all. It has also assisted the Duterte administration in increasing public awareness of policies and programs, such as the ayuda payouts, targeted testing, and the current vaccine inoculation, which address the virus and its effects. The untiring reportage and coverage provided by the press on important matters have helped keep us updated of the facts and the news.
The Duterte administration knows the importance of a free press and continues to support it as an institution, with initiatives such as the Freedom of Information, Presidential Task Force on Media Security, and support for the expanded Sotto Law, to protect and promote the life, liberty, and security of media workers in the Philippines. The rights and freedom of the press have always been important to this administration as it benefits every Filipino.
May we continue to eradicate biased information, disinformation, and fake news that are damaging not only to our society, but also to the trust and relationship between the government and the people, by working together at this crucial time despite our differences.
We salute the heroism, commitment, and bravery of all journalists and media workers as they fulfill their work. We pray for the safety and well-being of everyone as we recover from this global health crisis.