Speech of President Aquino during the induction of new officers and directors of the AdBoard of the Philippines

Speech of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
During the Induction of the new officers and directors of the Advertising Board of the Philippines, Inc.

[Delivered at Rizal Ceremonial Hall, MalacaƱan Palace on February 17, 2011]

Whether we admit it or not, advertising has a compelling effect on us as consumers—influencing what we buy, how often, and how much we enjoy it. Indeed, I blame advertising for my occasional craving for a fast food burger or a cold soft drink.

As we induct the new set of officers of the AdBoard, I am sure you recognize the incredible power you have to influence what people see, what people hear, and what people believe. I know that you have heard this before, but let me renew the call for you to consider using this power for more than just commercial purposes. I understand that advertising is commerce, but the decisions of where to advertise can also be used to encourage responsible corporate behavior and improve the level of discourse in our country. Instead of just cost per thousand, why not add other criteria? Does the program where you are placing your advertisement promote the values of good citizenship? Does the network or newspaper that receives your placements uphold truth and fairness?

Our administration has been promoting good governance, and has been highlighting the importance of transparency and accountability. We are working overtime to shed daylight on the country, and you can help by encouraging media to police its own ranks, and to provide clarity to issues. Needless to say, the marketing communications sector can help promote a trustworthy, transparent relationship between the government, and the Filipino people.

The AdBoard has shown us that we are capable of promoting higher standards of professionalism in the mass media. This will lead to a Filipino public better informed and enlightened on vital national issues. You have long played a crucial role in crafting standards of trade practices and ethics among advertising practitioners, and with the officers you are inducting today, I am confident that this will continue. By regulating your own ranks, you allow less government intervention, thereby increasing the efficiency of sectors both public and private. Now that the people have finally lifted the veil of corruption that once kept us in the dark, we have the opportunity to capitalize on the daylight that has dawned in order to begin rebuilding this country. Together with the new inductees of the AdBoard, together with the Filipino people, let us create a Philippines that we can proudly bequeath to our children.

And before I end, may I add a personal note. It is true that we in government—and I did hear President Barrack Obama say that one of the things that he has had difficulty in adjusting to was being in the fishbowl—in the perpetual observance of so many quarters. Unfortunately, in our country, sometimes sensationalism is a lot better than spreading the truth. Sometimes the truth seems to have been a forgotten concept by some of our media practitioners. Those of us who would support them in their endeavors undoubtedly contribute to the problems that we face; and that’s where we have to look beyond the confines of our needs to promote our products and be the responsible Filipino that we all can be. The future is ours to make today. Let us make the right decisions to have the right future.

Thank you. Good day.