Communication academics, media advocacy groups, human rights defenders, journalists’ organizations, artists and other professionals, and even some congressmen and senators have condemned the shutdown of ABS-CBN.
The Philippine government has eased restrictions on people’s movement and allowed the operation of some businesses in metro Manila, Cebu City and Laguna by putting these areas under what it calls a modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). Some provinces that used to be under ECQ have been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Both, so say government officials, are meant to address the crisis in unemployment and to restart the economy. The decision to begin the transition to something approaching “business as usual” in the capital and other regions was based on the assumption — about which some experts are skeptical — that the rate of transmission of COVID-19 has fallen, and that, although social scientists are saying that things will not be the same as they used to be and that the country must be ready for a “new normal,” the disease will eventually disappear once a vaccine is found.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anything, it is how imperfect such institutions as governments and even entire societies are — and that some are more flawed, damaged, and damaging than others.