Cagayan de Oro: Proposed “Canoy Press Freedom Ordinance” up for refinement


The City Council Committee on Planning, Research and Innovation and People’s Organization Accreditation chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Q. Nacaya in its meeting on June 23, 2023, endorsed to the City Legal Office for comments and legal opinion the Proposed Ordinance instituting the Reuben R. Canoy International Press Freedom Golden Award, Ang Lungsod nga Nasayod Award, or shortly the Canoy Press Freedom Award.

Introduced by City Vice Mayor Bebot Rodriguez, the purpose of the proposed ordinance is to establish a prestigious award that will honor individuals or organizations from around the world who have demonstrated exemplary commitment and achievements in promoting and defending press freedom in their local communities.

The rationale behind the ordinance lies in the recognition of the indispensable role played by a free press in upholding democratic principles, safeguarding human rights, and fostering transparency and accountability in society, especially in the local communities.

It also seeks to honor the legacy and accomplishments of Atty. Canoy by recognizing individuals or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and achievements in uphold-ing and advancing press freedom globally. The award will serve as a prestigious accolade, shining a spotlight on those who have made exceptional contributions to safeguarding the freedom of the press, often at great personal risk.

As the proposed ordinance envisions the establishment of a rigorous selection process to identify worthy recipients of the award, Nacaya recommends that the City’s Historical Commission (HisCom) be tapped not only as a member but also as the Secretariat of the selection committee or panel of advisers.

“Few refinements lang, isulod lang ang HisCom sa panel of advisers or selection board (as they) have staff who will check on the background (of the candidates),” explained the councilor.

For his part, Councilor Aga Suan said to prioritize first the Cagayanons before other candidates from other cities.  (Cheleste Simene, photo courtesy of CdeO City Council)

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