The Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP) releases its official statement following the House Committee on Legislative Franchises decision to reject the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise last July 10, 2020.
70 committee members voted to reject the renewal of the network’s franchise, 11 to dismiss the rejection, 2 to inhibit and 1 to abstain.
According to its official statement, FWG deems the House of Representatives’ decision on ABS-CBN’s franchise a ‘threat’ against democracy and ‘assault’ on the livelihood of thousands of workers.
Here is the full statement of The Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP):
“The Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP) strongly condemns the House of Representatives’ refusal to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. We consider this a threat against democracy and an assault on the livelihood of thousands of workers. The loss of jobs will only add to the number of freelancers who do not have social protection, a condition most apparent during the pandemic.
Throughout the 12 hearings held in august chambers, the public clearly witnessed how lawmakers bullied officials of the media network, aired personal grievances, and questioned critical reporting.
Instead of upholding freedom of information, 70 Representatives voted ‘yes’ to the recommendation of the Technical Working Group not to renew the franchise.
Members of FWGP sympathize with our writer colleagues, reporters, producers, directors, staff, employees, as well as third party contractual workers of the beleaguered media institution who are bound to lose their jobs, and whose incomes their families rely on.
Amid the health crisis our nation faces, it is also imperative to make news and information accessible to everyone, especially those who rely on free TV and radio programs.
With this shutdown, not only are millions of Filipinos deprived of access to information, they are now deprived of access to information during this pandemic–information that will help them fully understand and cope with the crisis, and survive.
We, the FWGP, join those who have raised their voices condemning the House of Representatives’ non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise. We commit to be among the guardians of democracy, using our voices and our words to speak out against tyranny and corruption. As citizens of this nation, we hold those in power accountable.”
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