Duterte declares Aug. 30 as 'National Press Freedom Day'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill declaring Aug. 30 of every year as National Press Freedom Day.

He signed Republic Act No.11699 on April 13, making Aug. 30 a working holiday across the nation.

This is in honor of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, the father of Philippine Journalism, who used the pen name "Plaridel" in his writings. He was born on Aug. 30, 1850.

The Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, including government and private media organizations, are directed to lead public and private schools at all levels in "organizing consciousness-raising activities on the importance of the press, their rights and social responsibilities, and the elimination of all forms of violence against the press."

Based on the World Press Freedom Index last year, the Philippines ranked 138th among 180 countries, two notches down from 2020.

READ: PH further drops in ranking in press freedom index

In its report, the group said the Philippines is one of the countries where press freedom is classified as bad or very bad and where it is blocked.