Several Philippine non-government organizations have emphasized how important ABS-CBN’s role is in saving lives at this time of public health crisis, expressing their support for the network’s franchise renewal as they fight for press freedom and freedom of information especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medical workers’ group Alliance of Health Workers highlighted the significance of ABS-CBN among Filipinos, acknowledging its part in “bringing attention to the issues and concerns of our frontline healthcare workers, especially in this time of pandemic and economic crisis.”
The group also considered the Kapamilya network as a “champion” for its dedication in bringing service to the Filipino people, not only in times of hardships and disasters, but also in moments of joy and triumph of its viewers.
Sharing the same sentiment, leadership advocate group Kaya Natin! Movement stressed that the ABS-CBN shutdown is very untimely, considering the situation our country is in right now.
In a statement, the organization said “the diminished access to verified information during a pandemic makes it harder for us to save lives.”
Kaya Natin! Movement also likened the shutdown to “leaving many Filipinos in the dark,” as many still rely on free television and radio for their daily source of news and information.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ rights advocate group Metro Manila Pride called National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order (CDO) against ABS-CBN as “unconscionable,” especially in a time where up-to-date information, according to the group, “can save lives.”
Employee rights promoter Defend Jobs Philippines, on the other hand, focused on underscoring the shutdown’s effect on the 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN.
According to the organization, the CDO “is a clear attack not just to press freedom and the people’s right to information, but also a direct aggressive attack against the livelihoods of thousands of Filipino workers of ABS-CBN across the country and their families who are depending on them.”
Despite the shutdown, ABS-CBN has been continuously delivering news, information, and entertainment to millions of Filipinos here and abroad on other platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.