June 25, 2024

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Romualdez urges broadcasters to continue fighting fake news, misinformation

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez emphasizes broadcasters’ vital role in combating fake news during the 51st anniversary celebration of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) held at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City Thursday (April 25, 2024). Romualdez said that in an era where misinformation can spread rapidly, “the integrity of our broadcasters is more crucial than ever.”

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday night urged officials and members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) to continue their intensified fight against fake news, misinformation and disinformation, especially in social media.

Romualdez said these concerns undermine public trust in institutions following the circulation of an altered video using deepfake technology, falsely portraying President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. as instructing the military to take action against a specific country. 

Speaking before the 51st-anniversary celebration of the KBP with the theme “Empowering People’s Voices and Aspirations” held at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City, Romualdez praised the organization’s more than five decades of exceptional service to the nation.

“We recognize its indispensable role in our democracy – as a reliable source of truth and a facilitator of informed public discourse … Your role as custodians of truth is imperative in countering misinformation and upholding the public trust,” said the Speaker Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) cautioned the public about the President’s manipulated video circulating on social media, refuting the authenticity of its content.

The event commenced with KBP Chairman Ruperto Nicdao Jr. delivering the opening remarks, followed by KBP Vice Chairman Herman Basbaño, who introduced Romualdez as the guest speaker. KBP President Noel Galvez delivered the President’s message and led the ceremonial toast.

Romualdez said that in an era marked by a redefinition of the media landscape due to evolving technology, transitioning from traditional platforms to digital spaces, and where misinformation can spread rapidly, “the integrity of our broadcasters is more crucial than ever.”

“As you navigate these shifts – where liquid crystal displays have taken over cathode ray tubes, and digital content challenges traditional primetime – I urge you to remain steadfast,” Romualdez asked.

The House leader from Leyte said that the framers of the 1987 Constitution were visionary in acknowledging communication’s powerful role in nation-building, underscoring the need for broadcasters to uphold the integrity and clarity of information.

“I commend the KBP for maintaining rigorous standards of truthfulness and fairness. Your unwavering commitment to these values showcases the best of Filipino broadcasting and fortifies our democratic foundations,” the Speaker said.

“In this light, I appeal to the KBP to continue policing its ranks vigilantly. It is essential to actively weed out those who compromise on the ethics of truthful reporting and to set an example that resonates not just within our shores but across the global stage,” he added.

“Elevating your standards to match, or even surpass, the world’s best is a goal well within your reach and one that will significantly enhance the credibility and influence of Philippine broadcasting internationally,” he said.

Romualdez then pledged the full support of the House of Representatives to the KBP in its commitment to facilitate progress and contribute to nation-building.

“We are diligently working on legislative reforms to provide more flexibility in terms of investments and resources, aiming to boost the industry’s growth and international competitiveness,” he stated.

“These reforms are crafted not to compromise the patriotic vision of our Constitution’s framers but to empower you with the modern tools and capital necessary for innovation and expansion,” he added.

Romualdez vowed to improve transparency within the industry and to broaden the scope of its operations, ensuring more accessible access to credible platforms for all Filipinos to voice their aspirations. 

“Additionally, we are focused on advancing legislation to protect and empower media practitioners, enabling you to perform your duties safely and without undue interference,” he noted.

“As we move forward, let us continue to champion the principles of professional integrity and excellence in broadcasting. Together, we will usher in a new era for Philippine media, reinforcing its role as a pillar of truth and a beacon of professionalism on the world stage.”