The ANC Brief: Hearings on ABS-CBN franchise


Posted at May 26 2020 05:00 AM

Congress is set to tackle the franchise of the country’s largest broadcast network. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Good first step
Finally, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises will hold a hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise. It’s a good first step to get the network back on the air, and it’s an opportunity to explain to congressmen the various issues being hurled against the network, most of which were already answered in previous hearings. Meanwhile, employees of the network denounced a massive attack by trolls to sabotage an online signature campaign calling for the return to the network to free TV.

Estimated capacity
Government said it met its goal of boosting its testing capacity to more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day. But the Department of Health clarified that number is the country’s “estimated maximum capacity.” Officials also said it’s possible Metro Manila may be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) when the month ends. This means less strict protocols can be in place. But Sen. Frank Drilon said this transition should be based on science. Meanwhile, cases of child sexual abuse online and rape spiked during the quarantine.

Sending home 24,000 OFWs
President Duterte has ordered government agencies to work swiftly to send home around 24,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stuck in quarantine facilities in the country. Many of these OFWs have been waiting patiently for the results of their COVID-19 tests and have been staying beyond the requisite 14-day quarantine period. Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said around 300,000 OFWs are set to return to the country due to the closure of business around the world caused by the pandemic.

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez said they were told to accept three planes of people being sent back to the provinces under the “Balik Probinsya” program, a pet project of Sen. Bong Go. He said those on board have not been properly tested or documented. He voiced his frustration over the supposed lack of coordination by the national government on the program.

Career change
A lot of industries were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many without jobs nor options. Finding a career suited for the times means answering some hard questions.