In a bid to be more efficient and effective in responding to continued attacks on media practitioners, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines has strengthened and expanded its regional safety offices throughout the country.
As the country heads for mid-term elections in May, the NUJP media alert system and on-call safety officers become doubly important and necessary as pens, laptops, cellphones and cameras in news gathering.
It is during elections that attacks on media practitioners are unusually high.
The Ampatuan massacre that happened in 2009 was the worst election-related mass murder of media persons in history.
From one safety unit in NCR until the middle of last year, NUJP has extended its reach to four other regions, namely, Luzon, Visayas, Eastern and Western Mindanao.
The Regional Safety Officers form part of NUJP alert and response support services for journalists in distress.
Incidents where reporters, photographers and other members of media are harassed, threatened or killed in the line of duty are reported to NUJP through its hotlines.
The first responder verifies and documents reported incidents and issues alert advisory to news media.
NUJP has also beefed up the number of media safety officers to a total of five, one for each region.
Each responder is on call 24-7 and can be reached thru the following hotline numbers:
Regional Safety offices
The NUJP Safety office has also announced a series of safety trainings for media practitioners up to 2019.
In November 2018, the Freedom for Media Freedom for All documented a total of 99 media attacks from July 2016 to October, 2018.
The Freedom for Media Freedom for All is composed of Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and NUJP.