By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — People in far-flung communities will now have access to unimpeded information critical amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the grant of a franchise to several broadcast stations, Sen. Grace Poe said.
Recognizing the indispensable role of the networks, Poe steered the approval on the third and final reading of the franchise bids of four broadcast stations — University of the Philippines (UP) System, Davao City Radio Broadcasting Station, Palawan Broadcasting Corp., and Highland Broadcasting Network Corp.
“In a number of areas in the provinces, radio and television remain the people’s window to the world and their neighbor communities, not to mention their source of daily up-to-date local news,” Poe, chairperson of the public services committee said.
“Through earthquakes and typhoons, floods and political turmoil, the locals know they can count on their TV and radio to get the latest updates and to know what to do,” she added.
With the start of the vaccine rollout, Poe said broadcast stations will be useful partners of the government in telling the people where to get the doses, who are eligible to get vaccinated, and other timely and relevant information.
What began as a laboratory for UP Communications students, campus radio DZUP has become more than a music program and talk show.
“DZUP has evolved into an avenue of expression and academic freedom for our students,” Poe said.
The senator said she hopes the students running the radio station will be buoyed by the various recognition and awards it received in the past to be more than an extension of the classroom, but a platform to stimulate critical thinking and action.
Poe hailed the setting up of the Davao City Radio Broadcasting Station of community radio for emergency response and preparedness.
Aside from its popular service for urgent personal messages, Palawan Broadcasting Corp. has been incorporating news, education and entertainment to its formats.
“Communities that are informed and enlighted are empowered, and broadcast networks are instrumental in making these happen,” Poe said. (AI|MTVN)