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Typhoon-hit areas left uninformed due to ABS-CBN shutdown, Kapamilya journos express worry

The problem of accessing news in a trying time is nothing new.

Typhoon Molave has wreaked havoc on various areas in the country. Over 25,000 villagers have been forced to leave their homes with 13 currently missing. Known locally as Typhoon Quinta, the storm has also displaced nearly 3,000 families from Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has yet to report a death caused by the effects of Typhoon Molave.

Information is very important in this difficult time, especially for those who are most affected by the heavy rains so they’d know the right things to do when adversity presents itself.

Kapamilya journalists are hoping that information about the typhoon reaches these people.

Kevin Manalo wonders how people from provinces are doing amid the storm.

Jamela Alindogan pointed out that ABS-CBN Regional would be a big help to those living in far-flung areas because it has the widest range of coverage in the country.

However, news reported by ABS-CBN can no longer be viewed on free TV because of its shutdown last July, leaving millions uninformed about what is happening in the country.

ABS-CBN went off the air on May 5 following the expiration of its 25-year legislative franchise. Two days later, the network’s broadcasts started airing on online platforms.

The 70 congressmen who voted to deny ABS-CBN a franchise renewal are responsible for the lack of accessibility of information to the public.

Fortunately, ABS-CBN reporters like Mylce Mella-Competente are still doing their best to report the news.

ABS-CBN news reporter Dennis Datu is also dedicated to doing his job. Datu was in Oriental Mindoro on October 26 reporting for DZMM Teleradyo when ABS-CBN staffers had to grab him because of the strong weather.

DZMM anchor Johnson Manabat had a hard time hearing what Datu was saying.

“Kita doon sa video na kinakailangang hawakan pa si Dennis ng mga kasamahan niya doon sa lakas ng hanging,” Johnson said.

No matter the weather, Datu continued reporting.

“Nandito kami sa highway ng Santa Isabel, Calapan City sa Oriental Mindoro at hindi na kakayanin sa lakas ng hangin na dala ng bagyong Quinta.

“Mas matindi ngayong mga oras na ito,.he said.

The problem of accessing news in a trying time is nothing new.

ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs host Jeff Canoy previously shared a story on Facebook emphasizing how important ABS-CBN is to those living in the province.

Canoy was in the Aurora province last May to report on the effects of Typhoon Ambo when a police officer asked him whether ABS-CBN is coming back on air anytime soon.

“Aahh. Sana, sir,” Canoy replied.

What the police officer said next made Canoy realize why free TV is so much better for gathering information compared to the internet in areas like Aurora.

“Facebook na lang ba kayo? Hirap ng data dito sa bundok, sir,” the police officer said.

The police officer admitted that even the people were clueless of what really was happening, and that they rely heavily on ABS-CBN for updates.

“ABS lang ang malakas ang signal dito. May bagyo ngayon, ‘di namin malaman kung ano nangyayari,” he added.

Written by JO-EST B. TAN

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