Jinggoy: Magna carta bill seeks to remove 'hao siao' journos
MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada said on Thursday he has no intention of intimidating members of the media in filing a bill that would require journalists to pass an accreditation exam.
He said merely wants to rid the media of illegitimate practitioners, commonly known in the industry as "hao siao."
"Marami rin kayong mga kasamahan at kakilala na talagang hindi naman lehitimong miyembro ng media. Maraming bogus na media personalities," Estrada told reporters in a briefing.
"Itong bill na ito I believe would promote the welfare of our friends from the media," he said.
Estrada recently came under fire on social media because of a provision in Senate Bill 380 or the Magna Carta for Journalists that seeks to require journalists to pass an exam to be accredited.
Some say it amounts to state control of the press. Under section 5 of the bill, non-accredited journalists or those who failed the exam would not be entitled to the benefits that the law provides, including protection from harassment and incentives such as scholarship grants.
But they would not be barred from practicing journalism.
The National Press Club said in a statement that it will scrutinize the bill.
"Kung mayro'ng groups ng journalists na opposed sa provisions ng bill na ito, then we can talk about it," Estrada said.
"They can propose some amendments to the bill that can be in favor of the journalists. Remember, I am a friend of the media."