President Rodrigo Duterte highlighted the vital role that media plays in nation building, as well as the government’s commitment to uphold press freedom as he led the inauguration of the newly-renovated Press Briefing Room at the New Executive Building (NEB) in Malacañang.
In his speech before Palace officials and members of the Malacañang Press Corps, Duterte said the new improvements in the Press Briefing Room represents his administration’s firm desire to reach out and effectively communicate with the Filipino people.
“The role of the media is vital if we are to successfully educate our people about the much-needed constitutional reforms that would lead to a more responsive federal-parliamentary form of government that welcomes foreign investments as a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.
“The press will also play an important role in the dissemination of accurate information on the gains that we are reaping from our country’s successful chairmanship of ASEAN, our improved relationship with our neighbors, and our role in maintaining peace and stability in the region,” Duterte said.
The President said the new briefing room also represents his administration’s commitment to uphold the Constitutional right to press freedom.
“The new briefing room also exemplifies our government’s commitment to uphold the freedoms that these halls represent. After all, it is through these halls that the press and the government engage to be able to present to our people the real state of our nation,” he said.
“Indeed, as we enter into a new chapter in our nation’s history, we need to foster a more vibrant relationship between the government and the press,” Duterte said.
But while freedom of the press is guaranteed, President Duterte reminded members of the media, both government and private, to always uphold the truth.
He urged the media not to use press freedom as a tool to muddle the truth and spread exaggerated news to advance self-serving agendas.
“To my fellow workers in government, especially those who form part of the Communications Office, I enjoin you to remain committed to your duty of upholding the truth at all times. Never exaggerate, never misinterpret [and] never agitate as you communicate our platform of governance. In other words, do not be arrogant,” he said.
“In the same vein, I call on our friends from the media to also remain committed to the truth at all times. Never, never lie because we are not up to it anyway. Never confuse your search for answers with the need to engage the public through sensationalized news and overpublicized political propaganda,” Duterte said.
In the meantime, the improvements made in the press briefing room include state-of-the-art equipment and newly refurbished holding areas.
Four wide screen, high-definition television monitors were installed, A state-of-the-art TV will also be available, fully controllable by the presenter through his smart gadget.
Resource persons also have the option of a standard stage or to have the podium removed and be given a lapel and clicker instead to conduct his presentation using the three TVs available.
Covering media are provided with IBM office-type tables equipped with electrical sockets and a dedicated Wi-Fi internet connection is also available.
The much-needed improvements were accomplished under the stewardship of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
Starting Friday, the regular Palace briefings will be held at the new briefing room. (PNA)