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12th USTV Awards to focus on sociopolitical aspects of media

This year’s USTV Students’ Choice Awards will highlight the sociopolitical aspects of media while continuing to seek the truth, coinciding with the national elections for the second time.

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This year’s USTV Students’ Choice Awards will highlight the sociopolitical aspects of media while continuing to seek the truth, coinciding with the national elections for the second time.

Themed “Veritas In Caritate (Truth Through Sharing): The Youth Empowering the Family through Modern Media”, the 12th USTV awards aims to recognize excellent television programs and personalities which promotes the values of genuineness, truth and charity, in line with the virtues that the University advocates.

“They [Media] ought to know the truth because they cannot preach the truth, they cannot provide the truth if they themselves do not know the truth,” said Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, O.P. in an audio-visual presentation shown in the kick-off party yesterday, Feb. 11 at the Plaza Mayor.

“I think that’s the only time they can best do their role in society: to be carriers of truth,” he added.to foc

“I think this [USTV Awards] is one [way] we can encourage mass media practitioners to be a responsible agents (sic) of truth. When we recognize their work and affirm them to stand for the truth, then I think we can encourage them to practice their crafts and skills responsibly,” said Fr. Aytona.

Thomasians were warned against using social media to harm others and were instead encouraged to utilize it to empower other youth and their “families in times of struggle and to help each other in a space where everyone is reachable.”

It was also emphasized that youth should use social media to develop awareness with current events, especially during election season.

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“Unang theme niyan is parang nasa sociopolitical, sociocultural [context in life of the youth] and then [napagdesisyunan] din namin with the Office of the Secretary na i-connect sa family because […] nagsa-start naman lahat ng good governance and everything inside the family,” said USTV project head and Tomasian Cable Television Chief External Relations Officer Paolo De Castro.

Nominees

This year’s list of nominees in the 24 categories are dominated by television shows and personalities from GMA Network and ABS-CBN.

GMA 7 and GMA News TV bagged 33 nomintations, while ABS-CBN got 31 nods. CNN Philippines and TV5 have three nominations each. (LOOK: Full list of nominees for the 12th USTV Awards)

Students may vote through their eLeAP accounts (ust.blackboard.com).

USTV winners will be awarded on April 21.

The USTV Students’ Choice Awards was born in 2005 to recognize the impact of television to Filipinos and address the need for it to be responsible to the viewing public. It rebranded last year to include other forms of media and launched a new logo, with an uppercase “V” that stands for veritas or truth.

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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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