We have a new set of officers, we have launched new projects, and we are working on more. And together, we will have fun doing it.
Even before “change” came to the country in May through the national elections, the National Press Club of the Philippines elected a new set of officers who vowed to usher in change to the country’s biggest media organization.
“We are here to serve,” said veteran journalist Paul Gutierrez, the new president of the club who is not new to the country’s media industry having been a journalist for the past two decades.
“We can do more,” said Benny Antiporda, former NPC president, who is known for his generosity not only to colleagues but to people who are most in need. Antiporda will now serve as the club’s vice president.
Former NPC president Joel Egco will be serving as secretary, with Mina Navarro as treasurer, and Rolando Gonzalo as auditor.
Sitting as members of the board for the next two years are Lydia Bueno, Kristina Maralit, Boying Abasola, Arlie Calalo, Nats Taboy, Alvin Murcia, Jean Fernando, Joe Torres, Benedict Abaygar, and Jun Mendoza.
Hitting the ground running
After their election, the new set of officers led the turnover of several houses to the first batch of beneficiaries of the NPC’s housing project.
Among the first beneficiaries who received the keys to their new homes on July 31 are NPC members Chito Lozada, Gwen Salamida-Diaz, and Rico Navarro.
The project, which was started under the administration of Benny Antiporda, is located in the village of Tibag in Pulilan, Bulacan.
Another eight housing units are expected to be distributed to other beneficiaries upon completion of documentary requirements.
Aside from the housing project, the NPC continues to conduct free medical and dental missions for club members and indigent residents of Manila.
The newly-opened Bambu Bar does not only offer fun to members but also assures us of income to support the improvements being done to our compound and to our old building.
On August 14, we also held our “4TH NPC Racing Festival” at Metro Turf Club Racetrack in Malvar, Batangas, to raise funds for our scholarship project, financial support for members, among others.
In the coming days, we will be releasing new guidelines for membership to the club to ensure that media practitioners will be able to access our facilities and benefit from our services.
A membership handbook, which is currently under review by the directors, will soon be distributed to all members.
The past months after the elections were interesting times for the country and the media.
The government’s war against illegal drugs hogged the headlines after President Rodrigo Duterte launched his no-nonsense campaign against criminality in the country.
To show our support to the government’s fight against illegal drugs, the NPC will be offering free drug testing to members who want to undergo the procedure.
Even as we continue to be vigilant against possible excesses in the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs campaign, we also assure the public that the media is one with the government in its mission to fight the menace of illegal drug use.
We assure all our members that change has not only come but we will continue to pursue it.
Even as we laud President Duterte’s signing of a historic executive order on freedom of information, we continue to decry the continuing attacks on media workers and the lack of action on cases of slain media practitioners.
We will work, we will have fun, but we will always be vigilant.