Health workers deplore closure of ABS-CBN, source of information on losses during pandemic

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Manila, Philippines (Update at 1h58) – The Alliance of Health Workers, a network of nurses, medical technicians and other health professionals across the country, criticized the House of Representatives panel’s rejection of the franchise offer ABS-CBN, which they say has helped raise the public issues plaguing the health sector.

AHW said in a statement that the shutdown of the nation’s largest broadcasting network came “at the expense of millions of Filipino families, including health workers who were denied services, news, programming, services. entertainment, information knowledge and wisdom that ABS -CBN brings to the masses in the most remote and remote areas of the country and beyond the sea. ”

“ABS-CBN has always been with health workers, covering activities and bringing to the public, especially to the attention of government authorities, the issues and concerns of our frontline health workers, especially in these times. difficult times from the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and the tyranny of state forces, ”they said.

The shutdown of ABS-CBN came as Philippine health officials struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus which, as of July 13, had infected 57,007 and killed 1,599 Filipinos.

READ: NUJP: Latest stop order against ABS-CBN deprives 11 million Filipinos of news, information

An overwhelming majority of 70, to 11, voted to deny the network a new franchise, endangering the livelihoods and families of 11,000 workers amid a pandemic.

AHW said they believed the decision of the House Legislative Franchise Committee was not based on their deliberations. The group noted that government agency contact persons all stated that ABS-CBN did not commit any violations.

“Their votes are incompatible with the sentiment and preference of their constituents represented. Instead, it is based on their narrow personal interests and the interests of their political allies with a personal hatred to seek revenge for the management of the ABS-CBN, ”they also said.

“This is a clear step by the Duterte administration to kill free speech, democracy and freedom of the press,” AHW added.

Lawmakers put ABS-CBN’s so-called “biased reporting” on their hearing agendas during its 12th session last week, and some of them took the time to voice their grievances against network reports on issues affecting them. This is one of the issues raised by the Solons against the network’s franchise offering, although Congress does not have to dictate the editorial decisions of a media entity.

The palace insisted on Friday that lawmakers’ vote “is the people’s decision,” but a Social Weather Station poll, released two days later, showed four in five Filipinos believe the House should renew the vote. ABS-CBN franchise.

The same survey also showed that 56% of Filipinos also believe that the non-renewal of the network’s franchise is a “blow to press freedom”, despite claims from Palace and House management according to which freedom of the press has nothing to do with the franchise of ABS-CBN. offer.

Filipino journalists are outraged by the House’s decision to shut down the network. In a statement by reporters, editors and media networks across the country, they said: information to make informed choices.

Nearly 1,000 media workers swore, “Victory was easy for the forces that conspired to bring down ABS-CBN. But the rehabilitation of the image of those condemned by history will not do it, because it will be heavy with the collective anger of a people who live on democracy and the rule of law. – Kristine Joy Patag

As it happens

LAST UPDATE: January 27, 2021 – 3:35 p.m.

ABS-CBN Corp. ceased broadcasting on its TV and radio stations on May 5, 2020 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order. The network’s franchise expired on May 4 without action from the House of Representatives.

January 27, 2021 – 3:35 p.m.

Representative Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan party list) is trying to put the ABS-CBN franchise to a plenary vote, saying it should be considered as it is in the unfinished business of the House.

The House rejected his motion, but he appealed. House leaders later pledge to start tackling his unfinished business from Monday. – Xave Gregorio

January 18, 2021 – 3:38 p.m.

Representative Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) tabled a bill calling for the renewal of the franchise granted to broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III introduced a similar bill in the Senate, claiming that a majority of Filipinos get their news primarily from television.

Franchise invoices come from the House of Representatives.

January 5, 2021 – 8:00 p.m.

Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress to vote on the new bill to renew the franchise for the ABS-CBN TV channel, which was forced to lay off thousands of workers after its franchise expired last May.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque disagreed, saying the fate of the bill depended on lawmakers.

“Well, again, I don’t agree; it’s a single constitutional prerogative of Congress that has to come from the House of Representatives,” Roque said at a press briefing. – Alexis romero

January 4, 2021 – 4:53 p.m.

Senate President Tito Sotto is tabling a bill renewing the franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN, which was discontinued in May.

Sotto’s bill aims to renew ABS-CBN Corporation’s franchise, which expired in March 2020, for an additional 25 years.

“The wide reach of ABS-CBN among Filipinos, as well as the undeniable advantages of broadcast media over mass communication, definitely calls for the immediate renewal of the network’s franchise,” Sotto says in his bill.

October 6, 2020 – 2:27 p.m.

Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp. returns to free TV starting Saturday after making a deal with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc.

The network announces that “certain entertainment shows and films” it produces will be broadcast on Channel 11 “renamed” A2Z, formerly Zoe TV, the free-to-air Jesus Is Lord Church television channel run and founded by Eddie Villanueva.

“A2Z’s Channel 11 will be broadcast on analogue television in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces,” the network said.


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