Consumer groups back TV5-ABS-CBN merger

Published August 16, 2022, 6:57 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

At least two consumer groups have expressed support to the merger of TV-5 and ABS-CBN which is being questioned by some critics.

In a statement, CitizenWatch Philippine convenor Orlando Oxales described the merger as good news to the public as it would help democratize the dissemination of well-vetted news reports to the public which is a mandated responsibility of a TV franchise.

“This is a welcome development that would boost public awareness of critical information on issues and events that have direct impact to the daily lives of every Filipino,” said Oxales.

“We look forward to enhanced public service programs that will keep Filipinos well informed of important information that are relevant to their everyday lives especially during times of crisis,” he added.

Aside from CitizenWatch, another group which declared support to the merger was Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuyente.

In a separate statement, the group’s convenor, Louie Montemar, said the merger will fill a void left when the Channel 2 franchise was not renewed by Congress.

“This is an opportunity to create a new brand of credible public service that would deliver not just entertainment but would hopefully a developmental medium of education and good values freely accessible to everyone,” Montemar said.

For his part, Rep. Gus Tambunting said the was a simple business venture wherein a legitimate television network with a channel and franchise has partnered with a former television network known for producing widely popular content.

”In my opinion, this is just a simple business transaction wherein there is one company with a free channel and franchise, while another company formerly had a franchise and formerly featured good content. On a business point of view, it seems very sensible to give space to the former leading network,” said Tambunting, chairperson of the House Committee on Legislative Franchise.

Supporting Tambunting’s statement, Oxales said, “More than a legitimate partnership, the lost jobs and opportunities of linked industries when ABS-CBN lost its franchise will be given another chance to be part of a new network that should learn from the hard lessons of the past and strive to build a progressive mover in nation building.”