ABS-CBN: We follow labor standards

Marje Pelayo   •   February 25, 2020   •   373

MANILA, Philippines – About 11,000 employees fear losing their jobs if Congress fails to approve ABS-CBN Corporation’s franchise renewal application.

Of the said number, about 6,700 are regular employees while the rest are project-based, independent contractors and content creators.

The company assures that all of these employees are properly compensated including the celebrities, directors and writers among others.

The network, meanwhile, denied that they were practicing end of contract or ‘endo scheme’ and stressed that they have passed the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) general labor standards including the occupational safety and health standards as well as the security of tenure policy.

“A few weeks ago, we received clearance from DOLE that we’re fully compliant in all of these areas,” explained Mark Nepomuceno, head of the firm’s Corporate Services Group.

But should the network lose the franchise battle, employees are worried about where to look for a new job.

“Umunlad po ang buhay ko, ng pamilya ko at lahat ng mga miyembro dahil po sa ABS-CBN. Kaya po nangangamba ang lahat na kung sakaling hindi mabibigyan ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN (Our lives improved with ABS-CBN that’s why we’re worried about our situation once the ABS-CBN loses its franchise),” noted John Villanueva, president of the ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees’ Union.

“Sa tingin ko kasi even ang ibang istasyon ay puno na rin po ng manggagawa. Mahihirapan na rin po kaming kumuha ng ibang trabaho sa ibang kompanya, (I believe other stations no longer have vacancies. In that case, it would be a struggle for us to seek employment from other companies,)” he added.

Despite his support for President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Bong Go said he will appeal the employees’ plight to the Chief Executive as he is also concerned about their employment.

“I will appeal to the president for the simple reason na ayaw kong may mawalan ng trabaho (that I do not want them to lose their jobs,)” the President’s former aide said. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

ABS-CBN ‘grateful, humbled’ by Duterte’s acceptance of apology

Robie de Guzman   •   February 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Broadcast network ABS-CBN Corporation on Thursday said it was “grateful and humbled” by President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of its apology.

On Wednesday, Duterte accepted the apology of the network’s president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, and assured he will not interfere in the company’s application for franchise renewal to Congress.

“We are grateful and humbled by President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of our apology,” the ABS-CBN said in a statement.

“ABS-CBN remains committed to becoming a better organization and to continue to provide more meaningful service to Filipinos,” it added.

Katigbak, during a Senate hearing on Monday, apologized to the president over the network’s failure to air his P2.6 million worth of political advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections, as well as the airing of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s political ad against Duterte.

Duterte also said that instead of giving him refund, the ABS-CBN should just donate the amount of his unaired campaign advertisements to charity.

“We will coordinate with the President’s office as it relates to his guidance on donating the refund to a charitable institution,” the network said in response.

Duterte earlier said he will “leave to Congress” the issue on the network’s franchise renewal, and that he has not decided yet whether to sign into law the bill granting ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year license to operate.

Duterte accepts ABS-CBN apology, won’t interfere with franchise issue

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 26, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted ABS-CBN’s apology over its failure to air his political advertisement worth P2.6 million during the 2016 election and the airing of a political ad against the President paid for by his staunch critic, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Yes, nandiyan iyan (it’s already there). I accept the apology of course,” he said during an interview with reporters on Wednesday (February 26).

ABS-CBN chief executive officer Carlo L. Katigbak apologized on Monday (February 24) saying it was not the intention of the network to offend the President.

Duterte also reiterated that he will not interfere with the network’s franchise issue.

“I leave it to Congress. The critical move is in the House and I tell you I am not going to interfere,” the President said.

He added that he has not decided yet whether to sign into law the bill granting ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year license to operate.

“I will cross the bridge when I get there. Maybe I will call the media to help me out. It would be a difficult decision, really,” he said.—AAC

 

Discussions on case vs ABS-CBN deferred to March 10 – SC

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday announced it has postponed the discussions on the petition against media network ABS-CBN Corporation seeking to scrap its broadcast franchise due to alleged violations.

SC spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said the high court, which sat en banc on Wednesday, did not make any decision on the quo warranto and gag order petitions filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against the media network.

Hosaka said the deferment aims to give the Justices time to study the pleadings and comments submitted by the concerned parties.

“The case will be taken up again by the en banc on March 10, 2020. This is to give the Justices time to go over the pleadings submitted by the parties, including the comments recently filed by the respondents,” he said in a statement.

Calida on February 10 asked the Supreme Court to forfeit of the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN, claiming the network committed highly abusive practices and violations including foreign ownership and lack of operating permits.

The government’s top lawyer also urged the high court to issue a gag order to stop ABS-CBN and other parties concerned from discussing the petition.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing to do with ABS-CBN’s franchise woes despite his previous threats of shutting down the network.

“The quo warranto has nothing to do with the personal feeling of displeasure, hurt and offense of the President. The SolGen has constitutional duty to do what he has done,” Panelo said.

“The franchise renewal of ABS-CBN has been there, filed in 2014 prior to the assumption of this President, so there is no way by which anybody can be blaming this President for the inaction of Congress whether the previous Congress or the present Congress,” he added.

The House of Representatives has yet to begin deliberations on the bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise which is set to expire in May. Congress goes on a break on March 11.

The Senate on Monday conducted a hearing on the franchise woes of ABS-CBN where the network’s top executives attended.

During the hearing, the company’s president and CEO, Carlo Katigbak expressed apology for failing to air then-presidential candidate Mayor Duterte’s campaign ad in 2016.

Panelo said he has yet to get the president’s response on the network’s apology. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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