Some 150 print and broadcast journalists from the private and government sector participated in the first North Cotabato Media Summit held at the Grand Ficus hotel on August 26-28.
The three-day summit featured a seminar workshop on strategic communication management for public information officers, responsible journalism, media ethics and libel.
In her message published in the program, President Arroyo said “I am very pleased to know that the PAPI and North Cotabato provincial government have taken the initiative to help the government especially in reporting the development in some areas of Mindanao”
She commended Gov. Emmanuel Pinol, a former journalist, in his effort to promote agriculture not only in Mindanao but also in Luzon and Visayas.
She said North Cotabato’s promotion of four major crops — banana, palm oil, rubber and coconut — would certainly help reinvigorate the economy in the countryside.
She noted that the summit theme, “Refocusing the Thrust of the Philippine Agriculture.” illustrates the kind of media responsibility that the country needs in order to move forward.
“Agriculture remains the backbone of our economy, and any improvement in its performance redounds to the benefit of millions and millions of farming families in the countryside,” Arroyo said.
Pinol said the 1st media summit would help in terms of agricultural promotion all over the country.
He said the symposium on refocusing the thrust of Philippine Agriculture may help persuade national and local government officials to encourage farming communities.
He said local governments could encourage their constituents to cultivate rubber, oil palm, banana and other cash crops to uplift the countryside economy and improve the standard of living of millions of farming families.
“Here in my province, I am very happy that more and more farmers have signified their support in planting these crops,” he said.
Pinol encouraged media practitioners both from the print and broadcast especially those coming from Luzon and Visayas, to report the good things happening in various provinces of Mindanao.
“A lot of good things are happening in Mindanao. I hope that media that is considered as the fourth estate, would also highlight in their reports the agriculture’s improvement that helped uplift the lives of our people,” he said.
(Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)