MANILA - The public service arm of ABS-CBN's integrated news division will continue to provide aid to those in need, its head said Monday despite the network's significantly reduced operations following its broadcast franchise denial.
"Dapang-dapa na nga po tayo pero hindi pa rin po talaga tayo titigil sa pagtulong. Ipagpapatuloy po natin ang labang ito. Hindi lang laban sa prangkisa kundi para sa masang nangangailangan ng tulong natin," Buds Sayong told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We're down but we will not stop in providing assistance. We will continue this fight. This is not just a fight for the network's franchise but a fight for the Filipino masses who need our help.)
Sayong lamented the closure of ABS-CBN's regional network group, which he said assists them in extending aid to the country's far-flung areas.
"Sila po ang may kabisado sa lugar. Sila ang may alam kung may tinamaan na hardest-hit," he said.
(They know the areas best. They know which ones were hardest-hit.)
"Yung far-flung na nararating natin na ABS-CBN lang ang channel nila, yun ang pinakamabigat sa atin. 'Pag tinanggal mo yun, lalo na tayo mas mahihirapan."
(The loss of our reach to far-flung areas is the most devastating. It will become harder for us.)
Sayong said the group was pre-positioned in areas where storms and other calamity are expected to hit in order to provide initial aid.
"Mino-monitor natin lahat ng papasok na bagyo, lahat ng kalamidad - giyera, lindol, flashfloods. Halos lahat, naranasan na natin. Nauuna po talaga tayo sa mga lugar na 'yun bago pa tumama pa talaga," he said.
(We monitor all storms, calamities, wars, earthquakes, flashfloods. I've experienced nearly all of it. We are the first ones to arrive in these areas before destruction hits.)
He cited as an example the group's operation in his hometown Tacloban City, which was hardest-hit by the country's most powerful storm Yolanda (Super Typhoon Haiyan) in 2013.
"Day before pa lang, nagsu-soup kitchen na tayo in different evacuation centers of Tacloban City. Nung tumama si Yolanda, may dala na po kaming relief goods dun," he recounted.
(A day before Super Typhoon Yolanda struck, we already set up soup kitchens in different evacuation centers of Tacloban City. When the storm hit, we already had relief goods with us.)
"Pagkatapos tumama ni Yolanda sa Tacloban City, nakapamahagi po kami agad ng 600 relief packs sa mga tao."
(After the storm hit, we immediately distributed 600 relief packs.)
ABS-CBN's Sagip Kapamilya earlier assured the public its relief operations would continue despite the network's limited resources.
Voting 70-11, the House committee on legislative franchises on July 10 decided to reject the franchise bid of ABS-CBN despite the company being cleared of alleged irregularities and delinquencies by relevant government agencies.
Aside from affecting the livelihood of the company's more than 11,000 workers amid a bruised economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the shutdown of ABS-CBN is also seen by various sectors as curtailment of the people's right to information, as well as of press freedom.
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.