The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Thursday launched a handbook meant to provide media professionals with precautionary measures to ensure their safety during coverage.
PTFoMs has started distributing the handbooks to Mindanao-based journalists in Cagayan de Oro City during a seminar on the implementation of Administrative Order No. 1 (AO1) formulated and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
President Duterte lauded the PTFoMS’ latest development, stressing that the media remains one of the “hallmarks” of a vibrant democracy.
“My warmest greetings to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security as it releases the Handbook on the Personal Security Measures for Media Practitioners,” Duterte said in a statement.
“I am confident that this handbook will be a valuable material as it propagates best practices that will enhance the security of every stakeholder in the industry,” he added.
The handbook was launched in line with the PTFoMS 2nd anniversary celebration.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the handbook is “a huge step forward in the realization of the President’s promise of establishing a community where press freedom and democracy not only survive but actually flourish.”
“I applaud everyone whose hard work, dedication, and contribution made this handbook a possibility,” Guevarra said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, acknowledged the efforts of PTFoMS Executive Director Joel Egco for spearheading the project, noting that media professionals can use it to confront the “journalist jungle.”
Egco, on the other hand, encouraged media professionals to know the handbook’s contents by heart.
“This handbook was primarily designed to be with you 24/7, but we encourage you to commit to memory its contents, especially the Philippine Journalists’ Code of Ethics,” Egco said.
He also reminded media workers to give primary importance to their safety.
“No one is more concerned with the protection for your life and safety than you are. Therefore, the greater the effort you put into the task, the greater will be the degree of your safety,” Egco said.
The PTFoMS was created through Administration Order No. 01 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in October 2016 to address media killings and harassments.
It is headed by the Department of Justice, co-chaired by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, with the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of the Solictor General, Presidential Human Rights Committee, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation, as members.
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