(July 16, 2020) – The country’s largest broadcast media network has announced it would start laying some of its 11,000 workers next month to cut further losses after a congressional panel denied its application for a franchise renewal.
In a company statement, ABS-CBN said it would cease operations of some of its businesses and implement retrenchment by the end of next month. The job cuts came at a time when the country was suffering from the ill effects of a coronavirus pandemic.
“We are doing all we can to mitigate the pain that will be felt by those affected, including paying out separation and retirement benefits and providing job placement programs” the statement said,
“The loss of their jobs comes at a time when the uncertain and perilous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic further makes our decision truly difficult, but inevitable.”
The retrenchment notice came five days after 70 lawmakers voted not to renew the network’s franchise for 25 more years. Only 11 elected to support the broadcast giant.
ABS-CBN’s radio and television broadcast went off the air in May after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered it to cease, a day after the franchise expired.
But it continued to broadcast through social media platforms and on its cable TV services, but admitted it would not be enough to support more than 11,000 employees, while it has been losing about 35-million pesos a day in advertising revenues and operating costs.
“As much as it hurts us to implement this retrenchment program, this is the only way to ensure the continued employment of the rest of our Kapamilya,” the statement added.
Lawmakers who voted against ABS-CBN insisted that the network had committed several violations.
But a segment of the recommendations to the House panel though on the network’s supposed “less than exemplary” labor practices said, “The employees’ welfare must not be sacrificed in the pursuit of profits.”
Even after the decision was brought down, employees held a noise barrage outside the building to protest the decision and to support the company.
“For those who are affected, we pray for you and your families, that you may have the strength and guidance to deal with the challenges ahead. For all that you have done for ABS-CBN, maraming salamat po.” the network said. (Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)
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