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Media profs, students decry House ‘murder’ of ABS-CBN

The University’s media professors and student councils expressed their outrage on the killing of ABS-CBN franchise, through their statements released today, June 11.

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Arden Esmile/TomasinoWeb

The University’s media professors and student councils expressed their outrage on the killing of ABS-CBN franchise, through their statements released today, June 11.

“The Malacañang lackeys at the House of the Representatives have just committed murder,” the UST Journalism Society (JournSoc) said regarding the July 10 decision of the Lower House to junk the ABS-CBN franchise.

READ: Statement of the UST Journalism Society on the rejection of the ABS-CBN Franchise Bill#DefendPressFreedom#RedefinedUSTJRN

UST Journalism Societyさんの投稿 2020年7月10日金曜日

The murder of the ABS-CBN franchise, according to the student organization, is the latest addition to the list of acts committed by the administration against journalists.

“The 12 hearings on the network’s franchise proved that these lawmakers were not after the truth,” the UST JournSoc said.

Professors of the Department of Communication and Media Studies also called the 12th hearing “an orgy of personal and petty gripes of onion-skinned politicians against ABS-CBN.”

“Congressmen even exceeded their ambit and proclaimed themselves arbiters of good journalism and broadcast practices, exposing their ignorance and media illiteracy,” the professors said.

READ: Statement from UST communication and journalism educators on the decision of the House of Representatives to kill ABS-CBN’s application gor a legislative franchise#DefendPressFreedom#RedefinedUSTJRN

UST Journalism Societyさんの投稿 2020年7月10日金曜日

They commended the 11 lawmakers who voted in favor of the ABS-CBN franchise while condemning the others, “Cayetano House,” who “delivers on Duterte promise.”

Despite the shutdown of ABS-CBN for the second time, UST JournSoc and the media faculty are both hopeful for its return.

“We eagerly await ABS-CBN’s return to the airwaves, and along with it, the return of our freedom,” the media faculty said, citing the resurrection of the network after Marcos’ martial law.

“Nobody stays in power forever. Their time for reckoning will come,” UST JournSoc also said. “Maniningil ang kasaysayan.” 

Enemy of democracy

READ  #TWenty: The TomasinoWeb 2015 Year-Ender

The Artlets Student Council (ABSC) urged the Thomasian community and Filipino youth “not to cower in fear” but instead “resist tyranny and fascism.”

“[T]he Duterte regime has again proven itself as the enemy of democracy by denying the franchise application of ABS-CBN,” the statement released yesterday, June 10, read.  

UST Artlets Student Councilさんの投稿 2020年7月10日金曜日

The Council questioned the scrutiny of the Congress on the deliberations over the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, citing that the testimonies in the Technical Working Group are “based on personal vendetta.”

ABSC, along with UST JournSoc and media professors, mourned for the 11,000 workers who lost their jobs after the network’s shutdown. 

“[P]resident Duterte and his cronies in the Congress did not only deprive us of our right free press but also displaced at least 11,000 media workers jobless amid the country’s worst public health and economic crisis,” ABSC said. 

The Council called for a collective action and reminded the Thomasian community to keep their eyes on how the government “lacks empathy and compassion” to its constituents.

“[W]e must channel our rage into a collective action that will expose, oppose, and isolate the oppressive Duterte regime,” ABSC said.

“We will hold accountable those who trampled on our rights and reclaim our freedom!”

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Counter military, police propaganda-based disinformation—veteran journalist

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

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Photo grabbed from Rappler.com

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

Glenda Gloria, a journalism alumna of the University, said that the military and the police do not seem to understand the role of the media as the fourth estate because of their “very utilitarian” view of information. 

“They use information as propaganda because they think it has to achieve something for the organization, whether that means further securing the country or defeating the enemies of the state,” Gloria said in a fact-checking webinar. 

According to her, the attempt of law enforcers to speed up their propaganda is due to the tremendous pressure to eliminate insurgency before President Duterte steps down in 2020. 

“The biggest factor behind the politicization of the armed forces is the commander-in-chief. Whatever the President wants will determine the political influence of the military,” she said. 

Gloria reminded aspiring journalists that no war has been won using propaganda as a primary tool and to “continue the fight against lies” that are being weaponized for the mass destruction of the country.

The webinar titled, “Propaganda, State Secrets and Other Issues in the Security Sector,” was hosted by MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler. Vhey Tapia and Raheema Velasco 

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Flatten curve to revive economy, solon says

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

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Photo courtesy of the UST Central Student Council

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Klaro naman na hindi natin kailangan pumili between saving lives and livelihood. Hindi na tama na ang trade-off between the two…[b]ecause we can save both,” Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo said. 

Quimbo, who is also an economist, stressed the importance of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring, as well as business continuity and job projection interventions. 

The solution and interventions included grants for technical assistance, subsidies for COVID-19 testing, and wage subsidies with retention clauses. 

“We can afford to rise, pero dapat balansehin so as not to fall into a debt crisis… [b]ecause as we all know napakadali po to become poor pero napakahirap mag-exit sa poverty. Importanteng importante ang datos,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo also laid out the framework for the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE), which she is one of the principal authors. 

Under the ARISE, a comprehensive plan will be followed to address the pandemic-brought economic crisis with a proposed P1.3 trillion budget over three years.

In the bill still pending in the Senate, Quimbo specified transitional, financial, sectoral, and structural support that, according to her, were the basis of the framework for the “mini-version” of the Bayanihan 2 that is in effect until the end of this year.

‘Reform the economy’

IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa urged the government to “reform and shape” an economy that benefits everyone. 

According to Africa, the government’s current response is focused on a “very artificial poverty reduction” by granting cash transfers without addressing the structure that continues poverty.

“The government is very keen on infrastructure to promote economic growth, but the Philippines is so lacking in economic fundamentals as it uses infrastructure as a short-cut to growth,” he said.

Africa also criticized that while the government is focused on infrastructure development, decades of neoliberal health privatization eroded  the public health system, which worsened the mortality rate even pre-pandemic.

The webinar “EkonDisyon: Philippine Economic Recession and COVID-19” is a part of the MulaTalakayan organized by the University’s Central Student Council. 

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Tourism recovery to revamp economic sectors, officials urge

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo courtesy of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences & Education

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Alfonsus Tesoro called for sustainable and strategic recovery efforts to support and revamp economic sectors.

“Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang pag-conduct ng tourism site assessment and planning kasama ang iba’t-ibang stakeholders from the national government agencies, provincial government offices, and the private sector,” Tesoro said in a webinar, Thursday, Oct. 23. 

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, a survey conducted in Eastern Visayas showed that 66 percent of the respondents admitted that health risks affected their decision to travel, while 80 percent are now eager to visit tourism sites within the region only. 

“This gives us an idea of what tourism activities we should prioritize when we reopen our [tourism] sites. A large majority expect health and safety protocols in place, there should be value for money, and that fun activities will still be offered even under the ‘new normal,’” she said.

Tiopes added that despite the steady reopening of the tourism sector, health protocols would still be strictly employed to ensure safety of tourists and residents. 

The webinar titled, “Philippine Tourism Development and COVID-19 Pandemic: Recovery through Sustainable Development,” was spearheaded by the University’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management in partnership with the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, Inc., and co-organized by the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education. Paolo Alejandrino 

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