The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) voiced its support to the passage of House Bill No. 1493 or Campus Press Freedom Bill by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon initially deliberated by the Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) of the House of Representatives last October 22.
“It has been CEGP’s campaign to pass a legislation to genuinely uphold campus press freedom and scrap the toothless Campus Journalism Act of 1991. It is very important to protect campus press freedom to foster a free and democratic atmosphere for student publications to fulfill their duties and responsibilities to the Filipino youth and people,” said CEGP National President Marc Lino Abila who sat on the panel to deliberate the bill.
Along with Abila, editors from different student publications were also present. Editors of The Sower of Quirino State University, The Shield of Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Bataan and Pioneer of Palawan State University were given the chance to speak before the members of the committee to share the campus press freedom violations their publication are experiencing.
“It is important for us to present the current situation of the campus press to our legislators so they would understand the difficulties of our student publications under repressive policies imposed by school administrations,” Abila explained.
Majority of the members of the committee supported the Campus Press Freedom Bill. Committee Chairperson Cong. Roman Romulo noted that the mistakes made in the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 should not be repeated.
“The campus press as the tangible expression of press freedom in schools, the passage of the Campus Press Freedom Bill is a significant measure to protect our rights as members of the press. We urge our fellow campus journalists and the broad number of Filipino students to show their support for this legislation and continue our call to uphold and protect student democratic rights,” Abila said.###