THE holding of the Local Press Assembly 2022 convened by three media organizations in the country was an astounding success.

Attended by around 100 media personalities from all over the country, the event held last June 24 at the PEZA Auditorium at the Double Dragon Center in Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City was described by Johnny Dayang, lead convenor and chairman emeritus of the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. (PAPI) as a “momentous event.”

The convenors were the Federation of Provincial Press Clubs of the Philippines, Inc. (FPPCPI), Boracay Global Press Corps of the Philippines, Inc. and the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI).

The LPA 2022 was sponsored by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) with Director General, former Butuan Congresswoman Charito “Ching” Plaza, a great achiever and labelled by her colleagues as “super woman.”

A resolution was passed during the event to endorse to Pres. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the retention of Plaza in the position for the “continuity” of her PEZA programs.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was likewise signed by the convenors and Plaza to help each other in promoting PEZA and its programs. The latter sponsored the venue, meals and raffle draws for the LPA attendees.

Another topic tackled during the celebration was the planned submission of a position paper to Congress on a move to decriminalize libel among broadcasters and print journalists.

One of the keynote speakers was Susan “Toots” Ople of the newly-established Dept. of Migrant Workers (DMW), who called her agency the “bunso in the bureaucracy.” Republic Act 11641 created the DMW.

DMW’s top mandate is to protect the rights and promote the welfare of the OFWs and their families living in anguish and helplessness every time their relatives overseas are in distress. “As an executive agency, the role is to take the lead in the implementation of government policies, plans and programs designed to promote the protection, welfare, speedy resolution of problems and their effective reintegration upon returning to the Philippines,” Ople said, in a published report.

She disclosed that Pres. Marcos’ current standing order was to assure that “no services for the OFWs should be disrupted.” “Pati pamilya at mga anak ng mga OFW ay mapangalagaan din ng bagong dept.,” she added. There will be shared or joint functions of the Dept. of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and DMW for the OFWS.

Ople said she is looking forward to budget approval before the year ends. She hopes to categorize workers into skilled and non-skilled, also to differentiate the land-based and sea-based workforces. Foreign employers should be fully scrutinized prior to deployment of OFWs.

PAPI president Nelson Santos welcomed the guests along with convention officials. Iconic broadcaster Rey Langit chairs the Boracay Press Corps of the Philippines, Inc. while Allan Sison is the president of the FPPCPI. Former Makati City vice mayor, Bobby Brillante, himself a broadcaster, was also present.