Several religious groups in the country, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, expressed concern over the shutdown of ABS-CBN and pointing out its impact on the people, including the loss of a major source of information, especially in this very crucial time.
In a statement, CBCP president Romulo Valles said the Filipino people have lost a major source of information which is critical in these trying times because of the coronavirus pandemic and a source of entertainment and diversion for people who are staying home.
“These days, our people truly need more than ever broadcast services that would bring them the much-needed information in this time of crisis,” Valles said. “I sincerely hope and pray that our government, especially our Congress, will work together to resolve the issue so that ABS-CBN may be allowed to resume its broadcast the soonest to the benefit of our people,” he added.
Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) was “troubled” with the government’s move towards the network’s shutdown, citing that ABS-CBN’s closure “will have serious repercussions to press freedom and the continuing shrinking of civic spaces in the country.”
Religious Discernment Group (RDG), on the other hand, stated that ABS-CBN’s forced closure is “unexpected and untimely,” given that ABS-CBN is one of the biggest players in disseminating “fast and reliable information on the updates, preventive, safety and remedial measures against the (COVID-19) virus.”
RDG also stressed the importance of keeping the jobs of the 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN especially in this very critical time.
“Shutting down ABS-CBN TV network is totally misplaced, out of synch, and grossly counterproductive,” the group said in a statement.
Apart from these groups emphasizing the critical role of the network in terms of being a major source of information and livelihood for many Filipinos and its workers, The Society of the Divine Word, meanwhile, acknowledged the help ABS-CBN provides in proclaiming the Holy Gospel through its religious shows and daily Mass coverages, while also regarding the Kapamilya network’s shutdown as a “disservice” to the Filipino people.
“Its closure is not only a setback but a disservice that attempts to deprive many of the contemporary means to hear God’s message of hope, love, and forgiveness,” the group said.
ABS-CBN continues to spread the word of God through its Kapamilya Daily Mass aired Monday to Saturday on iWant, Sky Direct, Sky Cable, Metro Channel, and ABS-CBN’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.