Mass media practitioners have a major role in elevating public discourse as well as empowering the people towards national progress and reform, Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said before the graduating batch of journalism students of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication in San Juan City on Monday.
“In the context of the present day Philippine realities what are your responsibilities as citizens and scholars? I want to suggest that to be truly relevant citizens-scholars must work purposively to become instruments for liberating our fellow Filipinos from the shackles of poverty and ignorance.
“Kalayaan po ang pinag-uusapan natin dito,” Coloma said in his commencement message.
To achieve this goal, Coloma cited three imperatives – that the graduates serve as channel for the propagation of communication for development or C4D, that they should work together to elevate the quality of public discourse, and that the students, being masters of their craft, serve as teachers, mentors and artists of encouragement.
Explaining the C4D as a dialogue or a social process, Coloma said this is where communities express their aspirations and concerns and community members participate in decisions that relate to their environment.
The role of media practitioners is to empower people in their communities to engage them in shaping their own destiny, Coloma said.
“Kailangan po nating bigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga mamamayan na isaad ang kanilang saloobin, iparating ang kanilang mga hinaing at bigyang-tinig at kahulugan ang kanilang mga pangarap. Iyan po ang layunin ng Philippine Development Plan ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III,” he said.
According to Coloma, President Aquino wants that even the poorest Filipino benefits from the inclusive growth achieved by the country through government economic endeavors.
The media has tremendous role in raising the awareness of the people on many issues, particularly climate change and disaster response, Coloma added.
To raise the quality of public discourse, Coloma suggested that media practitioners must also focus on developmental form of reportage instead of delving too much on politics and controversies.
In concluding his message, Coloma urged the graduates to take on their roles as masters and mentors with vigor and dedication.
“Sana po ay maglingkod at magsilbi tayong lahat bilang tagapaghatid ng bagong pag-asa at tagapagtaguyod ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa ating mahal na bansang Pilipinas,” Coloma said. (PCOO)
Aquino to lead Philippine Information Agency’s 25th Anniversary celebration Wednesday
President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead in a series of events on Wednesday in line with the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the lead agency which serves as the direct link of communication between the government and the people as well as a dais where the citizens could express their opinions, views and beliefs to the highest official of the land.
Upon his arrival, the President will be received by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr. and PIA Director General Jose Fabia.
Topping President Aquino’s activities are the launching of the agency’s newest technological approach in efforts to better serve the Filipino people, the PIA’s New Website and SMS portal.
Following the launch, the Chief Executive will also witness the turn-over of the symbolic discs by Fabia to Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III. The discs are PIA’s collection that will be handed to the Presidential Museum and Library under the PCDSPO.
Culminating the President’s attendance to the PIA event will be the viewing of the PIA Exhibit and Art Gallery.
The Philippine Information Agency was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 100 issued December 24, 1986 in accordance with revolutionary legislative powers of then President Corazon C. Aquino under the 1986 Freedom Constitution.
Upon its creation, the PIA was envisioned to provide a free flow of accurate, timely and relevant information that will assist the people in decision-making and identification of opportunities to improve quality of life. It also enables the citizenry to participate meaningfully in the democratic processes.
Its tasks include the establishment and maintenance of selected regional/provincial information centers on community needs for use in planning communications programs and provide basic information of government and on areas of particular interests to the community it serves.
The provision of technical assistance to other government agencies on the communication component of their programs; initiate the planning and implement the information programs of national scope; assessment of information needs of the people through opinion polls and surveys to be used to systematically obtain the public's needs and views on government programs and to plan information programs; lead in the conduct of research studies for policy formulation and the evaluation of information program effectiveness; and the upgrading of skills of government information officers, rural broadcasters, communicators, journalists and other communications personnel through training services and/or consultancy, among others. (PCOO)
Aquino government to exert extra effort to achieve 2012 economic growth target
Malacanang said the Aquino government will exert its best efforts to achieve five to six percent gross domestic product (GDP) this year based on the instruction of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“We will certainly be exerting our best efforts to meet the target. And, as such, the President has already made several pronouncements on this and we will be following… the concerned agencies will be following suit,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.
Valte was responding to reporters’ questions whether the government considers achieving the five to six percent GDP target an uphill fight for the Aquino administration.
Valte also defended the economic growth of the country during the initial years of the Aquino government saying that while figures are a bit lower compared to the previous administration, more Filipinos benefited from the achievements of the present government.
“Mas maganda naman yung inclusive growth. Katulad ng sinabi ng Pangulo, while you see numbers that is to the liking of some of our economists, mas maganda naman po na mas marami sa atin ang nakakaramdam of the growth that we have had now,” she said.
At the same time, Valte reiterated the government thrust of a more aggressive spending this year to boost the country’s economy particularly in infrastructure development and agriculture.
While there are some criticisms about the lackluster spending of the government that affected the country’s economic growth last year, the administration said external factors have contributed to slower economic growth.
Among these factors include the financial woes in Europe, the slowdown of the US economy, the disasters that hit Japan, and the political uncertainties in the Middle East.
The Philippines, being an exporter of semiconductors and electronic products as well as agricultural products and human services, was affected by the recent developments in the global economic environment. (PCOO)
Malacanang announces appointment of new government officials
Malacanang bared the newly-appointed officials of the government who will be part of the Aquino administration’s continuous initiatives in pushing for developmental programs through the straight and righteous path towards sustainable development and progress for the Filipino citizenry.
In a regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced the newly-installed officials led by Cherrie B. Belmonte-Lim as Acting Director III, Department of National Defense.
A practicing lawyer since 1995, Belmonte-Lim has served as Officer-in-Charge, Director III under the Department of Health, Legislative Staff Officer VI in the Senate and Researcher/Writer in the Regional Trial Court Branch 36, among others.
Belmonte-Lim obtained her law degree from the University of the Philippines and earned her Masters Degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines in the year 2000.
Also appointed were Eva P. Ponce De Leon as Regular Member of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and Benjamin P. Reyes as Deputy Executive Director for Operations of the DDB.
Ponce De Leon who served as Chairperson of the Philippine National Red Cross has been active in social work including the programs on the prevention and treatment of drug abuse in the country.
Reyes for his part has also been equally involved in the drug abuse treatment and prevention programs of the government. He graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of the Philippines in 1994.
Valte also announced the appointment of Jesus Leocario Barrera as member, Representing the Sugar Millers, Sugar Regulatory Administration under the Department of Agriculture. (PCOO)