Ramos calls on media in nation building

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Monday, May 5, 2014


FORMER president Fidel Ramos, speaking before member-publications of the Philippine Press Institute May 1, called on media to help in nation building stressing for a higher quality of life for all Filipinos.

"The challenge to confronted and fulfilled by us, especially by dedicated leaders, is a higher quality of life for all Filipinos. The sooner the better. It is a daunting objective which can be achieved only by a sustained national team effort against the forces of greed, complacency and corruption and the maximization of opportunities arising out of our comparative advantages, our geo-strategic location, Christian-Muslim democratic culture, English proficiency and deep bench of human talents," Ramos said.

"The immediate tasks are to effectively reduce poverty, advance our economy, reinforce our democratic institutions, position the Philippines into a competitive niche amid the global economic turmoil and ensure our sustainable development under an enduring environment of peace and harmony," the former commander-in-chief added.

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This as Ramos stressed the media's role as "conscience of the nation".

"It behooves upon the press not only to be true to this calling, but most importantly for your profession to deserve this noble calling. No doubt, capacitating, training, self-policing and vigilance must be among the mandates PPI imposes on its members."

The former president called on media to uphold veracity, independence and accountability in its practice while helping promote the democratic process.

"Let us never forget that democratic government cannot do everything by itself. Neither is democratic government intended to do everything by itself."

"This is why in a democracy, the country's business is every citizen’s business, as it is the business of the press."

"Let us try to appreciate our officials. And let's try to help them. After all they are the crew of our one and only ship of state in which all of us are aboard. This includes foreign friends who chose to stake their fortune with the Philippines. This includes newly born babies. And little kids who may not know how to swim. Inclusive of those unborn among us. And so instead of putting more holes in our ship state, let us all help in plugging the holes.

"Only through our total commitment to such a principled way of working, living and leading can we hope to achieve sustainable economic development, social harmony and enduring peace for our beloved Philippines.

"Dear friends, I urge that in your every endeavor, have a thought for our country. And make it your life’s work to help lead us to our rightful place of respect, dignity and even admiration in the community of nations," the still physically and mentally sharp president ended.

The Philippine Press Institute celebrated its golden anniversary with the 18th National Press Forum and Annual Civic Journalism Awards.

Sun.Star Baguio bagged its first award in the prestigious event as Best in Culture, Arts and History Reporting-Daily category.

Two other Baguio publications, Baguio Midland Courier and Baguio Chronicle each bagged two awards making Baguio the contingent which went home with the most awards.

PPI is the national association of community newspapers which boasts of 64 member-publications.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 06, 2014.

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