GMA Network’s news channel will temporarily go off-air starting Thursday, March 19, as the entire Luzon is placed under enhanced community quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19.
“Due to the current state of calamity, GMA News TV is temporarily signing off,” read GMA’s statement which was released Wednesday night on the evening news program 24 Oras.
Its broadcast journalists made separate announcements on their individual social media accounts.
Reporters Tina Panganiban-Perez and Raffy Tima both shared on Twitter photos of themselves on the set of GMA News TV’s State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, saying that they will be anchoring its last episode “before GMA News TV scales down operation starting tomorrow due to COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, Arnold Clavio took to Instagram that morning show Unang Hirit will only air for an hour and thirty minutes every day until Friday before it gets temporarily suspended starting Monday, March 23.
Tima added that programs 24 Oras and Saksi will still continue to air.
GMA Network also announced that it will provide financial aid to its employees amid the lockdown by giving out full salaries, cash equivalent of their rice benefits, and cash advance for their April pay-outs. Employees also enjoy year-round medicine allowance and health card benefits on top of these.
As of writing, the quarantine will remain in effect until April 13, 2020. There are already 202 confirmed cases for COVID-19 in the Philippines with 17 mortalities.
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