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Malacanang welcomes Washington-based organization’s report ranking Philippines highest in press freedom Southeast Asia

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Malacanang welcomed the report released by the Washington-based advocacy organization Freedom House ranking the Philippines the highest in press freedom among its neighbors in Southeast Asia in 2012.

"The improved rankings of the Philippines represents a recognition of the Philippine government’s initiatives to strengthen press freedom," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement read by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.

Among its neighbors in Southeast Asia, the Philippines ranked highest in press freedom with a rating of 42, representing a four-point increase from last year’s rating of 46, according to the organization in its Freedom of the Press Report 2012.

The Freedom House cited the reduction in violence against journalists, attempts by government to address impunity, and expanded diversity of media ownership as the reasons for our country’s gains.

The Washington-based advocacy organization also reported that the global ranking of the Philippines improved by five notches—from 93rd in 2011 to 88th this year.

"The Philippines has been highlighted as one of “several key countries” where positive changes in Press Freedom have been seen," the report said.
The Freedom House said the ratings are based on assessments of the legal, political, and economic environments for media in each country, with a scale representing 0 as “most free” to 100 as “least free.”

"With a country rating of 42, we acknowledge that more needs to be done to further improve the country’s rating which is still considered “partly free,” Lacierda said.

The Freedom House conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights. It supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights around the world. It also supports nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and stands in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free.

by: PCOO/PIA-ZBST




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