TV NETWORKS GMA and ABS-CBN have both halted production of their entertainment shows after the declaration of a community quarantine in Metro Manila.
“In accordance, however, with the government’s declaration of a community quarantine in Metro Manila and as part of the measures that the network is doing to ensure the safety and well-being of its talents, production teams, employees, their families as well as the general public, GMA will be temporarily suspending the production of network-produced entertainment programs,” GMA said in a March 14 statement.
The quarantine is scheduled to run from March 15 to April 14 and restricts movement of people in and out of Metro Manila (with exemptions), and promotes social distancing.
The network similarly advised its blocktimers and co-producers “to comply with the community quarantine guidelines.”
There are still pre-taped episodes of some shows and after they run out, GMA is to introduce a new programming line-up.
Last week, long-running GMA noontime show and blocktimer Eat Bulaga announced that it will telecast without a live audience temporarily because of the declaration of the state of public health emergency. This is to “help prevent the spread of the virus and to help ensure the health and safety of its talent, staff, crew, and members of its audience,” it said in a statement.
ABS-CBN similarly put out a statement on March 13 saying that it is suspending its live entertainment shows and the production of teleseryes (soap operas) starting Sunday, March 15, the first day of the Metro-wide community quarantine.
“The company is taking this initiative for the safety and health of our artists, crew, production teams, their families, and the general public,” the network said in a statement.
In the meantime, the network will be re-airing “well-loved shows to help provide inspiration, hope, and upliftment,” it said.
The adjusted programming will include having the show 100 Days to Heaven replacing Pamilya Ko, May Bukas Pa replacing FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, On the Wings of Love replacing Make it with You, and I am U replacing A Soldier’s Heart.
“We assure our viewers that the changes are only temporary. We will resume our regular programming when conditions improve and safety and welfare of our people will not be compromised,” ABS-CBN said in a statement.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in a memorandum dated March 15, reiterated its order to suspend “production of film, television, and other audio-visual contents for the duration of the community quarantine in [the National Capital Region].”
This memorandum follows the first memorandum, dated March 13, after the council received reports that that “some professionals are still being required to report in person to workplaces, including editors and post-house workers.”
The council said that the reports will be handed over to the Department of Labor and Employment “for appropriate investigation and sanctions.”
“At this crucial time of the government’s efforts to contain the further spread of the virus, we once again urge private companies and organizations to place the community and the workers’ safety above business interests and comply with the recommendations of the government to adopt flexible work arrangements and allow workers to work from home as much as possible while still securing services,” the memo said. — Zsarlene B. Chua