Luczon: Season’s Greetings: Betrayed by public servants (Part 2)

I THOUGHT that I have said my whole point of view in my previous column last Monday, but it turns out I am not done yet, because what the Congress has been doing lately made a strong blow as far as the industry where I belong and it's about time that our public officials' foolishness have to stop.

Yesterday, I was busy sorting digital video and photograph files in my computer and as I reviewed them I couldn't help the priceless memories that came with these.

Then I noticed that some of the subjects I had were people who were candidly shot but in a manner that brought out the artistic portraiture of humanity's raw emotions whether they are ordinary persons or public figures like the politicians.

In my thoughts, should this House Bill 4807 that threatens to cripple the freedom to document people will be enacted into law, I will be definitely have a hard time justifying frame by frame that it's not "for commercial purposes" and probably will always bring an agreement document or waivers that snapshots can be taken or be recorded visually or audibly – and even if you have captured a multitude of people – then you have to secure their papers individually.

Again, the proposed bill that is absurdly called "Anti-Selfie Bill" can penalize anyone who shoots photographs, records videos or audio of people if you will use it for "commercial purposes," indicating that such act is a violation to right of privacy.

Yes, it has an impression to be good in nature especially when the wrong people tend to abuse anyone by blackmailing victims through their videos or photographs, but for those working in the media especially in journalism that exposes the blunders of some government officials for the sake of public awareness, then we surely have a big problem here.

Again, this house bill was authored by representatives Jorge Almonte, Gwendolyn Garcia, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Lito Atienza and Leopoldo Bataoil, and Cagayan de Oro’s very own Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez.

The problem is in the definition of terms on how these lawmakers define and set limitations on the phrase "commercial purposes." Reviewing my works, most of the videos and photographs I took were sent to media platforms and even corporate organizations that commissioned my services in order to improve their products to be known and later sold – which is obviously very commercial in nature.

Media platforms get photos and videos as main product or service in order to gain not just a big audience share but also potential advertisers that are the bread and butter of the organization – again under the context of commercialism.

To our very own, the Rodriguez brothers, whom I said a heartbreaking disappointment, to author such bill, although we appreciate and acknowledge your efforts to do your duties as members of the congress by filing bills but sometimes you must also be reminded to consider the paradigm of "working for quality and not quantity."

And by that, I mean encouraging the Rodriguez brothers to instead lobby with their congress friends to pass the Freedom of Information Bill and other noteworthy bills the people really need, not because of personal political interest or the interest of their sponsor giant companies.



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