Monday, October 6, 2008

ABS-CBN and the Philippine Media

An Editorial of Bohol Sunday Post Newspaper

One of the positive developments to come out of the recent Court of Appeals (CA) scandal was the reporting trend which ABS-CBN brought into motion. Definitely, it was a learning experience for the giant broadcast company as it is for the rest of the Philippine media .

 In case people missed it, ABS-CBN always indicated in its news reports on the controversy that the broadcast firm was a sister company of Meralco. In doing so, viewers are sufficiently informed about the relationship between the newsmaker and the news reporter.

 That was a laudable act in the sense that people will not miss the connection. In the event that ABS-CBN's report reflected bias, the reason for it would be obvious. ABS-CBN would not be guilty of hypocrisy and the viewers would not be taken for a ride.

 This experience should prod people in the media industry to do the same whenever there is an issue where their objectivity is put in question. Try as they might to insist that they are being objective, it is not for them to say so.

 For instance, if a media organization goes hammer and thong against a public servant over a controversy involving his business interest, he should be decent enough to follow the lead of ABS-CBN.

 In the CA controversy, ABS-CBN's reporting was admirable, so admirable in fact that even Meralco's staunchest critics did not raise a howl. In showing unusual objectivity and fairness, ABS-CBN came out the winner in that episode.

 That brings to mind issues close to home in cases when people in media are suspected of using the organization at their disposal to advance and protect their business interest. To prevent such suspicions, they can learn a thing or two from ABS-CBN on how to handle the reportage.

 The days of simply distorting news to suit one's whim is over. These days, people have lots of alternative ways to know the real score so biased reporting is a dangerous proposition.

 At the same time, one cannot be too comfortable in the thought that one is the market leader because there are other mediums to even up matters. That's what makes today's media environment both challenging and dangerous.

 This is not to say people in the media should not go into business. Although that would be the ideal, it is no longer a practical idea. Media and business can mix.

 The important thing is transparency. As the slogan goes, be honest – even if others are not.  

Bohol Tourism

     The Provincial Cooperative Development Council (PCDC) has lined up several activities for the entire October to lead the celebration of Cooperative Month anchored on the theme, "Bohol Tourism Enterprise Development Through Cooperatives: Breaking Through Barriers and Beyond."

      Through the leadership of former Inabanga mayor, now Provincial Board (PB) Member Josephine Socorro Jumamoy, chairperson of PCDC, and the PB Committee on Cooperatives, the month-long celebration kicked off on October 2 with a parade through the main thoroughfares of Tagbilaran City.

      About 30 Tagbilaran-based cooperatives participated in the parade, together with one coop from Dauis and one from Anda.

      The participants assembled at Plaza Rizal and snaked through CPG Ave., Maria Clara St., Gallares St. and gathered at Lourdes Parish Church for the mass officiated by Fr. Kiking Magdoza and Fr. Boboy de la Paz.

      Then, in the program that followed, Jose Pamaong, the as emcee, delivered the opening remarks. City Councilor Edgar Kapirig gave the welcome address, while Jumamoy delivered the inspirational message. City Councilor Viviano Inting took charge of the closing remarks.

      City Councilor Djingo Rama also attended the program.

      During the program, the following were given awards and citations: Sr. Sto. NiƱo de Tubod Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) as the "well-attended" group; the Bol-anon MPC (formerly TACECCO) as the most colorful group; Totolan MPC as the most lively group, and the BAWIGS MPC for best slogan.

      Gerry Oranbo of BDMPC, Engr. Trinidad Castolo of BSAT CC and Nenit Gulle of BAWIGS MPC won in the quiz portion.

      The Cooperative Visitation and Assessment started the next day in Jagna.

      The 21 PCDC officers and members, including CDA, went to Jagna to meet the Board of Directors and officers of all the operating cooperatives in the municipality.

      A short program was held at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall where Jagna Mayor Exuperio Lloren welcomed them.

      Also present were some SB members and Lawyer Bonifacio Virtudez, MCDC chair of Jagna.

      The assessment started on the annual reports and audited financial statements of the different cooperatives present.

      A dialogue and forum were conducted later wherein the representatives of the different cooperatives raised and ventilate issues, concerns and problems of their respective cooperatives.

      After the forum/dialogue, the PCDC delegation visited the Laka MPC in barangay Laka which is into salabat production out of ginger which is abundant in the locality.

      The group, then, went to Guindulman town with Councilor Elino Laga as their guide. They visited Kabuntagon, a potential tourist attraction in Canhaway.

      Next stop of the Cooperative Visitation and Assessment is Balilihan town on October 6.

      Balilihan Mayor Victoria Chatto promised to give her full support and cooperation for the success of the activity.

      Next in the schedule are Calape on October 8, Pilar on October 10, Trinidad on October 15, Batuan on October 16, Bilar on October 20, and Ubay on October 27.

      Assessment on cooperatives in other towns has been scheduled after October.

      The Grand Cooperative Gathering and Taxation Forum has been scheduled on October 29 at the Bohol Cultural Center as the culminating activity of the Cooperative Month celebration.

      It is expected to gather active local Cooperative Development Councils and the different cooperatives provincewide.

      The event will also serve as venue to launch and present to Governor Erico Aumentado, the Bohol Cooperative Tourism Enterprise Development project that will complement the governor's eco-Tourism Development Program for Bohol.

      Meanwhile, the following are the other officers of PCDC: Virtudez and Carlito Fernandez of Sevilla, vice-chairpersons; Gina Repunte of CDA BFO, secretary; Jose Pamaong of TCCDC and BMPC, treasurer; Jose Hibaya of DTI, auditor; Talibon Municipal Councilor Virginia Item and ATI-Bohol Director, Dr. Caroline May Daquio as press relations officers; and former PCDC chair, Lawyer Felix Uy as adviser.