by Isabelle dela Cruz
Publications like Philippine Journalism Review and the in-house ombudsman system are the other forms of self-regulation and function as the watchers of the watchdog. It reminds the media of its ethical and professional lapses such as inaccuracy, bias and sensationalism. Another problem of Manila-based press council was the capacity to receive and respond to the complaints from the communities outside Manila. Even if the complaints were already filed there was no assurance that the council could address them because it was doubtful that the council could have either the enough manpower or time to do that.
The establishment of regional press councils in year 2002 in Cebu, Baguio, and Palawan - where Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) began working with local partners in the press and non-government organization communities to plan, build and launch local press councils to hopefully solve the problems that seems to be incapable of having a solution.
CMFR organized a program to start the process of establishing the Philippine model for local press councils. "Corruption in Media: A Multi - Sectoral Perspective" was held on October 1999, where 28 leaders of the Philippine Press Community nationwide attended and decided that a new framework would help greater ethical compliance and professionalism of the free press in the country. From this meeting, plans to organize local press councils with more number of representation from non-media sectors began. Non-media representatives were included in the councils to disprove the public's perception that a press council is an "old boys club" formed by journalists to protect their own.