MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday appealed to other congressmen to protect the jobs of more than 11,000 workers in ABS-CBN and its affiliate companies by approving the network’s broadcast franchise.
Baguio Rep. Mark Go said that at a time when many companies are laying off workers because of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their businesses, Congress should be helping preserve the jobs that are still there.
“We're helping all companies. We do not know what to do in Congress to create a package to stimulate the economy. Eh, eto, andito na, tapos papabayaan pa nating masira?,” Go said in Tuesday’s congressional hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise.
Go, who is vice chair of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, said he was worried about the country’s unemployment situation, which hit 17.7 percent last April, equivalent to around 7.3 million jobless Filipinos.
“Let's protect the jobs. This is not only for ABS-CBN. This is for the entire country. We want to help this country, let's help ABS-CBN keep its franchise," Go said.
"If there are problems that we saw, let's correct them."
Labor Undersecretary Ana Dione earlier testified that ABS-CBN was fully compliant with labor laws based on the agency’s 2018 inspection of the company.
“The focus now of the Department (of Labor) is employment preservation and along that line, if the renewal (of the franchise) would help, why not?,” Dione said in answer to a question by Go.
Go noted that ABS-CBN officials were willing to follow whatever the courts decided on the company’s labor cases.
He said that lawmakers should think of ABS-CBN’s workers who stand to lose their jobs if the company’s franchise is not renewed.
“Papaano natin maipapaliwanag iyan sa 11,071 families who will come to us?”
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