Making public information a priority – Manila Bulletin

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Public information should be at the forefront of the services broadcast franchise holders should provide to the people, Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday, November 23.

Poe stressed that with the number of natural disasters and other emergencies we face, it is absolutely essential that the public receive vital information quickly and accurately.

“Critical information reaching our audience in time will save lives,” she added.

Speaking during the Nominating Committee (CA) confirmation hearing of Gamaliel Cordoba’s appointment as Chairman of the Auditing Committee (COA), Poe highlighted the role the industry plays in broadcasting in the dissemination of news and information.

“I hope anyone who is granted a franchise to broadcast on television should also be subject to this condition that you should have public information first,” she said, adding that entertainment also opened the door. way to many to achieve their aspirations.

Prior to his appointment to the COA, Cordoba was commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). It was during his tenure that the NTC ordered the ABS-CBN network to stop broadcasting on free-to-air television when its franchise expired in 2020.

Cordoba explained that the NTC issued the cease and desist order against the network as a result of the quo warranto motion filed by the Solicitor General. A separate Supreme Court decision denied the network’s motion to overturn the order.

Poe said the network’s shutdown has left an information vacuum in news delivery, especially in areas where it has stations and regional offices.

“For example, we didn’t realize the devastation until a day or two after that. And these are in media centers like Cebu and even in Surigao and Bohol, so talagang pilay (so it was deactivated),” she added.

Poe acknowledged Cordoba’s apology, which had been offered earlier during the questioning of Senator Risa Hontiveros, regarding the NTC’s decision to shut down ABS-CBN.

The SC’s decision denying the operation of the network without a franchise and the quo warranto motion played a key role in the NTC’s difficult decision, Poe said.

“We think the media are also doing their job. But in the event of a disaster or even during ordinary days, it is better to have more hands on deck because it is essential to pass the information to our people,” she added.

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