Around 1,500 student journalists from different elementary and secondary schools in Puerto Princesa compete for the annual Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC).
Enrile Abrigo Jr., president of the Division Association of School Proper Adviser (DASPA) in the city, told Palawan News Friday this three-day competition started October 10 but was formally opened on its second day.
Abrigo said this activity is in compliance with the Republic Act (RA) 7079 or the Campus Journalism Act of 1991.
The year’s theme is titled “Empowering Communities through Campus Journalism”.
“Ako ay naniniwala talaga na ‘yong potential ng mga bata kailangan talagang i-empower natin ‘yan. Kaming mga teacher ‘yong nagsisilbi nilang force, motivation nila, sana nagiging inspiration din kami sa kanila na para ‘yong mga skills nila ay magamit nilang power to empower themselves and at the same time kapag na-empower na nila ‘yong selves nila, puwede na rin nilang i-empower ‘yong community,” said Abrigo.
He said around 100 coaches are present in this activity helping the students from various private and public schools in Puerto Princesa.
Abrigo also said that the contests are divided into English and Filipino medium, both for the group and individual categories.
He said Palawan as a whole needs to have responsible journalists who are going to be trained starting at their youth.
“Kasi diba ang dami nating issues dito sa Palawan from coal, sa politics, sa traffic pa lang, at ‘yon ay daily experience nila. Makakapag-bigay sila ng ambag sa lipunan through their talents and skills sa journalism, sa pagpa-pahayag ng kanilang opinyong responsible. Iyana ng nagbi-build ng ating community,” said Abrigo.
He said the contest categories comprise of television and radio broadcasting and scriptwriting, online publication, collaborative writing and publishing, editorial writing, feature writing, editorial cartooning, news, and sports writing, science and technology writing, photojournalism, headline writing, and copyreading.
On the other hand, Luis Mationg, the focal person for the DSPC 2019 said the activity will be concluded Saturday through an awarding ceremony.
He said the activity is in general smooth and only with some minor and manageable concerns.
“Smooth naman so far kaya lang kulang kasi kami sa manpower dahil ‘yong amin mismong officers na dapat magpapa-run sila rin ay busy so may mga bata rin silang kasama, mga dala-dala kapag kakailanganin namin sila ‘yon lang medyo mahirap hagilapin, pero so far willing naman sila,” said Mationg.