Press Release
January 31, 2022

Senate approves bill declaring Aug. 30 as National Press Freedom Day

A bill seeking to declare August 30 of every year as National Press Freedom Day was approved on third and final reading today.

Senate Bill No. 670 was approved with 19 affirmative votes, no negative vote and no abstention.

Sponsored by Sen. Francis "Tol" Tolentino, the measure was introduced by senators in honor of Marcelo H. del Pilar, considered as the father of Philippine Journalism, who wrote under the pen name "Plaridel". Del Pilar was born on August 30, 1850.

Under the bill, National Press Freedom Day shall be a working holiday.

The bill directs all government agencies, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units as well as the private sector to afford sufficient time and opportunity for their employees to engage and participate in any related activity to be conducted in the premises of their respective offices or establishments on National Press Freedom Day.

The proposed legislation also directs the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in consultation with the Office of the President (OP), government and private media organizations, to lead public and private schools in organizing conscious-raising activities on the importance of the press, their rights and social responsibilities and the elimination of all forms of violence against the press.

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