The Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) honored President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today for her exemplary accomplishments in public governance particularly in growing the economy and infrastructure development and for supporting the community press over the years.The Chief Executive was conferred the “Parangal at Pasasalamat” plaque of appreciation by PAPI president Juan Dayang and PAPI secretary Johnny Nunez during the organization’s 14th Midyear Media Conference and Executive Session at the Makati Sports Club this morning.
Organized in 1974, PAPI is the largest organization of community editors, columnists, correspondents, publishers and broadcasters in the country.
Being at the forefront of community journalism, PAPI has been informing and rallying public support for constructive and beneficial government programs.
“Our job is to support programs of government and President Arroyo, in recent history, is the only one who participated actively in the affairs of the Publishers Association of the Philippines,” Dayang said.
Dayang, who has been at the helm of PAPI for more than 14 years, said the President has actively supported the activities of PAPI since she was still undersecretary at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“And in all these activities, the President realized that the community journalists can play a vital role in development,” Dayang said.
In support of the community press, Dayang said the President also issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1187 in 2007 declaring December of every year as “National Press Congress Month and the Month of the Community Press in the Service of the Nation.”
Dayang said the proclamation provided the legal mandate for the annual National Press Congress which PAPI spearheads every year as the officially designated lead agency for the month-long observance.
During the event, PAPI members thanked and appreciated the President’s governance and beneficial programs particularly in the countryside.
Arthur Daguro, publisher of the Brigada based in Cauayan City, Isabela, thanked the President for her agricultural projects including the farm-to-market roads which put the Cagayan Valley area as the premier food and rice basket of Luzon.
Nestor Abrematea, publisher of the Tacloban Star, cited the President’s visit even to the remote areas in Samar and Leyte to personally inspect the completion of projects including the Samar Circumferential Road and the Agas-Agas Bridge in Sogod, Southern Leyte which he said, opened the route from the Visayas going to Surigao in Northeastern Mindanao.
Ben Diansay, publisher of the Mindanao Gazette based in Davao City, also thanked the President for her various development projects such as the upgrading of the 1,500-bed capacity Davao Medical Center, highways, circumferential roads, airports, and establishment of roll-on roll-off ferry system which enabled Mindanao farmers and businessmen to bring agricultural and other products to Luzon within 36 hours.
“Overall, she has done much better than many of her predecessors. I am confident history will judge her fairly and kindly,” Dayang said.