Bello says ABS-CBN compliant with labor laws, clarifies number of workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2020 08:55 PM

ABS-CBN employees and press freedom advocates join the solidarity gathering outside the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City, Feb. 21, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello on Wednesday said ABS-CBN Corp. is compliant with labor standards, and clarified reports on the number of people who work for ABS-CBN. 

Bello said ABS-CBN has settled its issues concerning violations on labor-only contracting. 

"We discovered some violations and we asked them to comply. We issued compliance orders. And in fairness, they complied," Bello said. 

Bello also said, based on a 2018 audit, the company had only 4,858 employees. But he also said that this figure may not have included ABS-CBN's subsidiaries. 

"Whether you have subsidiaries or not, we are not aware of that," the labor chief said. 

Last Monday, Mark Nepomuceno, former head of ABS-CBN Corporate Services Group, told the Senate Public Services committee that the ABS-CBN Group, including its subsidiaries, had 11,071 employees. 

ABS-CBN operates Channel 2, radio stations DZMM and MOR, and Digital Terrestrial Television or DTT, but the company also has subsidiaries which include cable news ABS-CBN News Channel, ABS-CBN Global, movie outfit Star Cinema, theme park Kidzania, etc. 

"Now that we know that there are subsidiary corporations, we will inspect them," he added. 

In a statement, ABS-CBN reiterated the statement given by Nepomuceno that the ABS-CBN Group provides jobs to 11,071 Filipinos through regular employment, project and program-based positions, independent contractors, and on-camera talents.

ABS-CBN said 5,918 people worked directly for ABS-CBN (as opposed to 11,071 for the whole ABS-CBN Group) as of December 2019. 

The 5,918 employees of ABS-CBN comprised 2,661 regular employees, 2,096 project-based seasonal workers, 1,069 independent contractors and on-camera talents, and 92 project employees.

"The livelihood of all these workers, regardless of their classification, will be affected by the closure of ABS-CBN," it said. 

The network's closure will affect jobs across all its businesses, ABS-CBN said. 

"This figure does not yet include jobs indirectly produced by the company through its hiring of third-party agencies such as security guards, cleaners and utility men among others."

"These people and their families, and the public we serve, remain our inspiration in undergoing this franchise renewal process," the company said. 

ABS-CBN’s current franchise expires on May 4. Congress is adjourning in mid-March and will resume session on May 4. 

news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.

- Report from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News