The Manila Times : 'Marcos admin to look after welfare of journalists'

By The Manila Times

Press Secretary-designate Rose Beatrix "Trixie" Cruz-Angeles on Wednesday vowed that the incoming Marcos administration will continue to look after the best interest of media workers in the country.

The assurance came following the expression of support by some media groups, particularly the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC), for the continuation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).

"We are always concerned about the safety of our journalists. We are crafting possibly a new policy on this one," Cruz-Angeles said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

The incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary said the media task force might be given a more "expansive" role that will go beyond addressing harassments and attacks against journalists.

"We are well aware of the concern of our NPC regarding this, so we have been responsive. We are already working on it," she said.

"We are looking into welfare not just safety or protection because apparently the current policy is focused on attacks, physical attacks on our journalists. We would also like to look at expanding it to include the welfare of our journalists. Some of them have been hit very hard by the pandemic," she added.

The NPC and the Publishers' Association of the Philippines Inc. last week urged President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to sustain the operation of the PTFoMS.

They called on Marcos to consider transforming the task force into a commission "to broaden its power in effectively addressing all concerns related to the country's media sector," and recommended PTFoMS Executive Director and Undersecretary Joel Egco, a former newsman, as chairman of the proposed body.