More than 500 journalists and media workers express solidarity with thousands of ABS-CBN workers who risk losing their jobs after a House panel denied the broadcast giant a new franchise.
In a statement released Monday, various journalists, editors, and workers from different media organizations condemned the “unjust and cruel” decision of the House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises.
The Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines condemns the House of Representatives’ decision to junk ABS-CBN Corp.’s application for a new franchise, calling it “a thr3at against democracy and an assault on the livelihood of thousands of workers.”
According to Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun, 55 percent of Filipinos have smartphones and only 4 million Filipinos have a broadband connection that can be used to watch the news on the internet and social media.
For Fortun, ABS-CBN is good at presenting news especially in the regions where the network uses the languages in the area.
“One of the features of the anti-C0V1D-19 measures in Regions 1 and 2 is the pervasive use of Ilocano. They (ABS-CBN) were effective there because they communicated in the language almost everybody there could understand… ABS-CBN News has regional news on radio and TV. This is one of the network’s strengths. But because they are off the air, TV news and public affairs programs in local regional languages have nearly vanished” he added.
On Friday, 70 lawmakers decided in a House committee to shut down the ABS-CBN franchise that would have given the network permission to return to the air.