Albay Gov. Grex Lagman will soon open a media lounge at the provincial government office, and this shows that he understands the importance of the fourth estate.
In a Facebook post, Lagman said his first job helped him to appreciate the media.
His task was as writer of messages and speeches for then Philippine Ambassador to the United States Raul Ch. Rabe.
He also filed reports on issues close to the hearts and minds of the Filipino diaspora in the U.S. It was a very fulfilling job, he said.
Because of his experience, he understands that the media need to be given all the opportunities to be effective.
The media lounge he would open would professionalize relations with media partners and even those who oppose his administration.
He also vowed to give them the independence to perform their mandate, , and assured them that he is against prior restraint.
He values the freedom of the press, which is one of the bulwarks of a working democracy.
All he asks is that the media adhere to higher ethical standards in reportage and column-writing.
The independent press must be responsible and accountable, he added.
“I want my administration to be marked by many ‘firsts.’ In July we will formally open the ‘PGA Media Lounge.’ Soon to be launched as well is the ‘Capitol Health and Wellness Clinic.’ The first one is aimed at professionalizing our media relations. The second will cater to the health and wellness needs of PGA employees for free.
At age 21, i was employed for the first time. And it was a very special appointment. One, because i got to serve our country. Second, because I did something i loved (and, still do) which was to honor the written word. I wrote messages and speeches for our Philippine ambassador to the United States (His Excellency Atty. Raul Ch. Rabe) and filed reports on a myriad of issues closest to the hearts and minds of the Filipino diaspora in the U.S. Working in Washington, D.C. is a rare opportunity. And since i fancied myself a wordsmith of sorts, it was very fulfilling.
The foregoing has made me understand more the need for the ‘Fourth Estate’ in Albay to be given all the opportunities to be effective. The Media Lounge will further professionalize our Albayano media partners as well as those who oppose my administration. I commit to give both all the independence to perform their respective mandates. I also assure all media groups against any form of prior restraint and subsequent punishment. The freedom of the press is one of the highest Constitutional rights and one of the bulwarks of a working democracy. I may not agree with you but i will defend your right to dissent and have views opposed to mine.
In return, all i ask is for higher ethical standards in reportage and column-writing in the tri-media including those on socmed platforms. It is an imperative for an independent press to also be a responsible and accountable one.
Thanks sa solid leadership of the Albay Provincial Information Office, Mme. Atty. Marylou Duka Castillo! For the architectural works, thanks Arch Kristina! For the engineering support, thanks Albay Peo’s PE Dante Baclao! Thanks as well Madame Carol Borjal Opida and Engr. Elmer De Ala of the PGSO!” Lagman posted.