IN CELEBRATION of Cebu Press Freedom Day, the House of Representatives has approved House Bill 5688, which declares September 21 each year "a special working holiday" in Cebu City and Cebu Province, including its highly urbanized and component cities.
The House passed the bill on third reading last July 26 and transmitted it to the Senate last July 31.
While the Senate is expected to pass the bill of local application, the process will take two to three months before it becomes a law, Cebu City north Rep. Raul del Mar, its principal author, said.
September 21, a Thursday this year, has always been the "focal point" of Cebu Press Freedom Week (CPFW), a moveable annual celebration that falls on the week that includes September 21, anniversary of martial law.
Michelle So, executive editor of SunStar Superbalita Cebu, which is this year's lead convenor, said the 2017 Cebu Press Freedom Week will be from September 16 to 23.
In 2015 separate resolutions, the House, the Cebu City Council and the Cebu Provincial Board, declared September 21 of each year as Cebu Press Freedom Day. This time, the approved House bill seeks to declare the day as a special working holiday.
The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) had recommended the legislative action to the House and the local lawmaking bodies.
The CCPC executive director Pachico Seares said that the press week celebration serves as "compelling reminder for Cebu media to defend press freedom and submit to accountability." It also "symbolizes capacity of Cebu media, despite business and professional competition, to unite for worthy goals." (PR)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2017.
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