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ROUGH CUTS | Need to correct an ‘exclusion’

HERE is one highly informative news program in our favorite television station that we feel needs some improvement if it has to live by its title. We are referring to the Monday to Friday news program of GMA 7 “One Mindanao.”

Nowadays, it is common for television stations to use a “stinger” or brief musical opening in its news broadcasts. In the case of our favorite station and always listened-to local news program due to its unbiased reporting, we have noted that its stinger is provided background using footages showing important identity landmarks of the provinces and cities of Mindanao.

We have no doubt that the producers of the newscast find a logical reason in doing such – it creates a mood as well as reinforces the theme of the program even as it fits into the format adopted by the station.

We have noted however, that the producer might have missed out providing video shots of identifying landmarks or even the names of certain provinces and cities to fully constitute the oneness of Mindanao in the program itself.

Yes, we have not seen the names of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-tawi provinces or the cities therein among the footages in the stinger. Of course we saw several video shots of mosques that are clear indicators of the places we have mentioned. But these may not be enough to satisfy the centuries old cravings for identity and belongingness.

The “exclusion” though, pure inadvertence or prodded with logical purpose, to us, and perhaps to listeners and viewers from those concerned places, somehow does not give justice to the very title of the news program.

Yes, important incidents and governance activities in the provinces and cities not included in the stinger are reported complete with video footages. And we know that listeners and viewers are very thankful for such service.

We are however, apprehensive that the non-inclusion of the areas we have mentioned right at the news broadcast opener, might set off the idea among the people in those areas that indeed some sectors do not want them to be part of Mindanao.
The residents of those places, and even their local government officials might consider such inadvertance as validation of the claims of some that indeed they were, and still remain neglected.

But this is not the only omission we have observed in the network’s myriad of programs. Its top rated noon time show Eat Bulaga is another. Consider this: “Mula Batanes hanggang Jolo, buong bansa..” What about Tawi-tawi?

Now should we blame the people there if they’d prefer viewing television shows from Malaysia? After all they understand the language of the citizens of that southern neighbor country of ours.

Again, we would like to reiterate that we hardly miss a single edition of the One Mindanao newscast from our favorite television station. We have some kind of affinity with its news department because one of their bosses for news and public affairs used to be our own boss when we were once in the broadcast industry – Mr. Mike Enriquez.

But we feel obligated to point out certain minor weaknesses in the program. We would never know if such negligible omission is already hurting the sensitivities of certain sectors of the population of Mindanao.

Isn’t it that even a small fine-tuning of one hardly noticeable can go a long, long way to better people’s relations?
Cemeteries in Davao City, both public and private, will be closed on orders of the local government starting October 29 until November 4, 2020. Only burials of the dead are allowed during that period.
According to the order, all those who will be visiting the cemeteries during the days allowed must observe all the health protocols prescribed by the government under this pandemic situation.
But even with the order we can always expect some people to openly violate the mandate as what is happening under the present quarantine level in Davao City. Many of those who were apprehended violating the protocols have ready reasons for their infraction.

They’d claim that they are not aware of the order or that they have no other persons to entrust to do errands for them. Some would simply keep silent and fork money to pay the prescribed fines, as well as undergo the required community service.

Therefore, it is not remote that such violations will be prevalent during the days that cemetery visits are banned.

So as to deny the relatives of the dead reasons for their violations we feel it is imperative for the local government of Davao City and elsewhere to put to the maximum level its information drive on the ban order.

It would be best for the LGU to use every available information vehicle as radio, newspaper, social media platforms and the so-called “billboard newspapers” and perhaps the educated “tsismis” brigade in the barangays and villages in far-flung areas of the city so that the residents can be made aware of the closure order and the dates.

We believe that it is the only way that violations of protocols during the commemoration of All Saints and All Souls’ Day be effectively minimized if not totally prevented.

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