By Gel Santos Relos
In my previous article, I asked our kababayans if they agree with Senator Sotto that CNN shouldn't have aired "Pagpag" because the Philippines is an advertiser.
Senator Tito Sotto threatened to pull out the reported $63 Million Dollars worth of advertising spots on the international news channel Cable News Network (CNN), after it aired the documentary "Eye on the Philippines" illustrating poverty and hunger in the country through "pagpag" or left-over chicken scavenged from the garbage by the poor, washed, recooked, and sold to poor Filipinos.
However, in a separate "Eye on the Philippines" story, CNN also featured the good side of the Philippines and the Filipinos despite hardship and budget limitations, focusing on the country's collective effort to boost tourism in the country. (Click to Watch video here)
The Department of Tourism invested in ads spots featuring “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” 15- or 30-seconder ads to be shown during CNN programming’s commercial breaks. DoT hoped to reach CNN’s wide global market.
Sotto said the Philippines was stabbed in the back, considering the Philippine government has poured a lot of money on CNN's commercial spots. CNN, he argued, should have just shown good and success stories in and about the Philippines instead.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez responded, saying “All we bought were spots, WE DID NO BUY CNN, and therefore, we can't tell CNN what to do...The Philippines is not without its problems, what did they find out [through the CNN ads] in the end? They [the prospective tourists] found out that we are one of the most progressive countries in our part of the world. If they want to cut the tourism budget for CNN, they have to think twice."
Kababayans weighed in on this issue and here are some of the comments:
I agree with Sen. Sotto. Kung may producto ka at gusto mo i-advertise sa TV o kaya sa Radio, courtesy ng broadcast entity na yun na alagaan ang mga nagpagkukunan nila ng income. The Philippines paid $63 Million tapos masisira lang because of that news item. They can air that news item if the advertising contract with the Philippines has already expired. -- Macky
Journalism and advertising are two very distinct issues although admittedly, from a business perspective, it is common knowledge that news organizations (print, online, broadcast, web) rely on advertising to survive or be profitable. However, the journalism code or ethics ARE NOT TO BE compromised for the sake of advertising. Politicians or people who think they have bought a news organizations' favor simply because they placed an ad are those who, in the long run, would also be the ones to complain why wrongdoings of their political opponents or rivals are not being reported...would they accept an explanation that: "Well, sir, they also placed an ad." So in the process, are we to kill what journalism is really all about on the basis of a few hundred or even millions of dollars worth of ads? And news organizations who end up reporting only about the good side of an advertiser should stop masquerading as journalists or being in the journalism profession... -- Albert Alba
Hindi nagbayad ang DoT para gumawa ng documentaryo ang CNN. Nag bayad ang DoT para magpa labas ng mga "its more fun in the Philippines" ads. Porket nag bayad ba tayo ng $63M so CNN, mawawala ba ang problema sa kahirapan at gutom sa Pilipinas? Yan ang problema sa Pinoy (which unfortunately includes me) Pag di natin nakikita, di rin natin iniisip. Out of sigh, out of mind. Di natin nakikita ang mga problemang yan sa atin, kaya di natin na iisip na nangyayari na nga yang problemang yan. Kaya nga andyan yang mga diaryo at mga programa sa TV para ipa alam at remind sa atin na may mga ganon nga na problema ang mga kapatid natin sa ibang lugar. Kaya nga dapat natin pasalamatan ang mga news agencies for reminding us, na may ibang mga Pinoy na naghihirap at kailangan tulungan. -- Mike Ybanez
IT'S NOT ABOUT HIDING THE TRUTH regarding the poverty stricken sector of our country,, I'm sure all Filipinos are already aware of this biting reality, and I'm also sure that we are finding ways to resolve it. Hindi mo kailangang ipaglandakan sa mga banyagang bansa dahil ito ay nagdadagdag sa maling impresyon sa ating mga Pilipino at diskriminasyon sa ating kakayahan bilang isang bansa. CNN should have practiced ethics in treating their advertisers(cash cow) COURTEOUSLY in relation to the shows they will air--the ad campaign should not be in the same timeline with those programs that question its integrity. IT DEFEATS ALL PURPOSES AND EFFORTS TO MAKE THE SAID CAMPAIGN EFFECTIVE --GinebraSanMiguel_AngInuminNgTunayNaLalake
Tama si Sotto... Di niyo kasi naransan maliitin sa ibang bansa,,, Ako kahit lumaki akong meron din kaya sa buhay , sinasabihan ako ng amo ko kung nakahiga na ba raw ako sa kama o mayron ba raw ref s pinas etc..masakit din kaya yun...Na ang alam nila talagang walang wala tayo at para s kanila, gold daw ang bansa nila..Kaya kahit anong gawin nila pagmamaltrato ok lang kapalit ng pera...pero di tama yun.. -- Lynn Li
May kalayaang ihayag ng sinuman kung ano ang tunay na mukha ng isang bansa.. ang mga ganitong klase ng palabas katulad ng idinokumentaryo ng CNN or BBC ay isang panawagan para sa gobyerno ng ating bansa at buksan ang isipan ng bawat isa sa atin.. hindi ito isang klase ng paninira kundi isang panawagan para sa mga lider ng ating bansa, kung gaanong naghihirap ang maraming pilipino habang sila ay nagpapakasasa at naliligo sa pera ng taong bayan.. -- Joshua Espiritu
Problema dito eh yng mentalidad ni Sen. Tito Sotto.. ang pag-isip nya ay katulad ng karamihan (halos lahat) ng mnga Filipino."UTANG NA LOOB".. ang inisip ni tito sotto porque binayaran ang CNN, ibig sabihin, meron cla utang na loob sa Pilipinas
kaya yun nasaktan at feeling betrayed cya.. sino ang mali --CNN or ang pag-isip ng mnga Filipino na pinakita ni Sen. Tito Sotto in full view? -- Esmeraldo C
Paying a certain amount for an advertisement spot doesn't mean you have the right for censorship, specially if the issue at hand is a reality. There is nothing wrong with the documentary that was shown by CNN. In fact, they even did us a favor, they showed the world that like any other countries out there, the Philippines is not perfect, it has it's flaws. And yet, despite all these imperfections, still, IT IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES. I am a Filipino, and by showing the whole world the negative side of the Philippines when it comes to hunger and poverty doesn't make me a lesser person, or us for that matter. On the contrary, what Sotto should be ashamed of is corruption.-- Floyd Derick Guico
In the first place, hindi po dapat nagbabayad ng ganun halaga ang gobyerno para mag advertise... $63million??? ilan pamilya na ang mapapakain nyan... ilang kabataan na ang mapapaaral at ilang komunidad ang mabibigyan ng hanap-buhay. kung gusto po nila ng good publicity, gumawa sila ng tama dahil ang mismong mga international organization naman ang makakarecognize kung merong nangyayaring mabuti sa Pilipinas. -- Janice Bancud
Huwag tayong short-sighted. Kung magiging successful ang advertisement.. mas malaki pa sa $63M ang mage-generate nito.. mas maraming pamilya ang mapapakain.. mas maraming kabataan ang mapapag-aral at higit pa dyan, maraming trabaho ang maibibigay sa mga Pilipino.. dapat may foresight tayo.. -- Luz V
Halos lahat ng SEA nations my ads sa CNN about tourism. papahuli ba naman tayo? come to think of it guys. -- Niko Mina
I believe the advertisement was to promote the good side of the Philippines. Ang mga nakikita ninyong pinapakita ang bad side ng pinas ay sariling research at topic ng CNN at BBC. We can't blame them kasi that's their job. Ang punahin lahat bad or good.Kaya mas dapat nga na mag advertise tayo ng good side to neutralize it and di kailangan i-witdraw and Ad Spot na yun as what Sotto is suggesting.With or without that Ad Spot, Philippines has been topic of its bad side. So having this Ad Spot promoting the Philippines good side will me more beneficial. So the world will know there are good thing in the Philippines. -- PinoyAko
(Asian Journal Column Article, May 19, 2012 )