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Mar 28th
Home Columns JGL Eye PIDC's Media Waiver: Ignorance of Media’s Role
PIDC's Media Waiver: Ignorance of Media’s Role PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 21:30



JGL Eye Column


(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)


C HICAGO (jGLi) – Some Filipino organizers north of the border are trying to promote the Philippine Independence Day. But they are heading south.


While supposedly under the guise of promoting the Philippine culture, the officers of the so-called Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) in Toronto, Canada, want to use the media to promote their event but they want to do it for free.


Maybe they haven’t heard of the truism that "you can’t give what you don’t have." Or "the more you give, the more you receive." They want to raise more money but they don’t want to spend more money!


The organizers, according to my friend, Romy Marquez, reporter of a Toronto-based website,, had crafted a waiver, “Philippine Independence Day Council (“PIDC”) Release and Authorization,” for Filipino-Canadian journalists. The waiver prohibits the journalists from recording, filming and videotaping its event without PIDC’s permission.


If the journalists will publish the event “for commercial purposes,” they must “acquire a written permission from PIDC.”


If the journalists will be injured while filming, PDIC will be rendered “harmless” and PIDC “is under no obligation whatsoever to provide or pay to me any financial or any in-kind-remuneration, royalties, awards, copies or other considerations to me/us as a result of producing, selling, distributing or transmitting this production(s) in any form currently or at any time in the future.”


What are the PIDC organizers thinking?


It is very clear that this waiver is not designed for Filipino-Canadian journalists but for its press-relations officer, who should be hiring a still photographer and a videographer.




T he press-relations officer, still photographer and a videographer are only back up in case Filipino Canadian journalists will not show up at their event. In case the PRO, the still photographer and a videographer will be injured while covering PIDC's event, the waiver should cover them. Not the journalists!


In case journalists show up at the event, they are free to record the event and they have options to write or not to write, to take or not to take photos, to video or not video the event. That’s the essence of press freedom.


The PIDC has no business collecting photos and video clips of the journalists simply because these journalists and their employers own the copyright to their news stories, still photos and videographs that they gather, not the PIDC.


Embedded journalists, covering the war, go to war at their own personal risk. In the same way that when a pool of White House journalists covers presidential events, members of the pool do not cede their rights to their stories, films and SD (secure digital) cards to the White House!


Why are community organizers, not only in Canada but also in the United States, always trying to save money at the expenses of the journalists?


What are they thinking?


They don’t like to spare complimentary dinner ticket or two to journalists because the cost of complimentary tickets could still add to charitable causes. They don’t know that if their events are publicized, more community members will take notice and, therefore, more people would be inspired to buy their tickets that will improve their bottom line.




A nd besides I have issues with some community organizers, who do not publicize or document the amount of money that they had raised. And they are only giving away money to the same charitable causes although there are other causes equally deserving.


Organizers don’t realize it that if donors get tired of donating, they will be hearing many excuses to avoid their events.


And running Philippine Independence events should not be a monopoly of one or a few organizations. Hosting these events should be distributed to other willing organizations. What are these organizers monopolizing the Philippine events thinking? Sila lang ba ang mga anak ng Diyos? (Are they the only children of God?)


It is good to know that Consul General Pedro Chan of Toronto is opposing PIDC’s use of waiver because he views it as a repression of press freedom.


The waiver was exposed by Mr. Marquez when he tried to cover the PIDC’s Mabuhay Festival at the Metro Toronto Convention Center last week.


One of those journalists, Butch Galicia, editor of the monthly LibreTO newspaper, tore his accreditation wristband and refused to sign the waiver as he walked out of the event. Butch should be congratulated for a job well done.


"When it comes to media people, there should not be any waiver . . . We are in a free society," Mr. Chan was very diplomatic when he told Mr. Marquez in an interview at the consulate on Tuesday. (The full video of the interview is available on You Tube at the link below.)


A PIDC adviser had admitted of making a “mistake” but had come short of promising to avoid the same mistake. He turned the table on local journalists by telling them to “stop whining.” If I were Consul General Chan I am going to tell PIDC to drop the words “Philippine Independence” from PIDC as PIDC is not promoting goodwill for Philippine Independence.


The Consul General, who just attended the annual Ambassadors- and Consuls tour in Manila two days ago, shrugged off his jetlag and gamely answered Romy Marquez’s questions on PIDC’s misstep by saying that many Filipinos died to gain that Independence and yet here we are “sasakalin lang natin ang ating freedom.” (We will only strangle our freedom.) # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at: (

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:02
Comments (2)
1 Thursday, 04 August 2011 12:58
Hi Joseph and Bobby,

Please correct the fourth paragraph. I am not the owner of Digital Journal. I am just one of its reporters. Best regards,

Romy Marquez
2 Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:03
Hi, Romy,

Sorry about that error. It's now corrected.
Take care.


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