By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the need for the government, the press and the Filipino citizenry to work together and to “create an environment of positive, progressive discourse between them.”
The Chief Executive stressed this in order to move the country forward as he delivered his message during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Business World on Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
“We must veer away from negativity and sensationalism. These must not run the course of our national discussions,” the President said.
“Negativity leads to despair, which leads to apathy, which then perpetuates the vicious cycle. Our people are denied the chance, and the capacity to dream. Hopelessness then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he stressed.
The President, however, noted that the negative mindset of the media can be changed as exemplified by the reforms his administration has initiated and continuously being implemented.
Changes are possible in the government, the way the present administration improves the economy, creates jobs, and empowers the people, he added.
While the government remains open to constructive criticisms, the President asked the press to make its comments in properly contextualized facts.
“And when these facts show that progress has been made, then you must also tell it like it is. This is media’s responsibility to their viewers, listeners, and readers. If our country is progressing, it can only be because our countrymen – both in and out of government – have worked hard at it,” he further said.
There are good news happening in the country that the media can report, the President said, adding that these include the developments he spelled out in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23 before the joint session of the 15th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
He cited as examples the country’s surprisingly high gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2012 which is at 6.4 percent, and the 62.2 percent increase in infrastructure spending in the first quarter of the year that directly created jobs for construction workers.
“There is the new-found vitality in the country’s manufacturing sector: production of apparel increased by 52.2 percent, while furniture production increased by 86.6 percent in the same period,” the President said.
According to the Chief Executive, the press should also look at the crimes being solved and not at crime rates as he noted that the government is doing everything to address the problem.
“Truly, if we go by the facts, we are seeing that the Philippines – as one observer has said – is no longer a joke. I am not saying that media should be there to praise the government all the time. But the news shouldn’t be about competing with other outfits on who can sell the most negative headlines; it shouldn’t just be about attracting more and more readers in the short term,” he stressed.