Rep. Vilma Santos: ABS-CBN shutdown hurts not just 11,000 staff but also personal assistants, dependents

Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2020 11:41 AM | Updated as of Jun 01 2020 01:58 PM

Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto delivers her sponsorship speech via Zoom on June 1, 2020. Screengrab

MANILA – Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto made a case for a fresh franchise for ABS-CBN Corp. as the House of Representatives resumed its joint committee hearings on Monday. 

Delivering her sponsorship remarks for House Bill 4305, Santos-Recto stressed that ABS-CBN has been instrumental in helping the economy by providing employment opportunities to 11,000 people.

The actress-politician also spoke on behalf of her colleagues in the entertainment industry, saying the non-renewal of the network’s franchise will greatly affect not just its talents but also those who depend on them.

“Sa ngayon po, marami sa aking mga kasamahan sa industriya ang nawalan na ng trabaho at ang iba naman po ay nakaambang mawalan na rin po ng trabaho. Para po sa kaalaman ng lahat, sa bawat talent po ng ABS-CBN na mawalan ng trabaho, marami pong mga kasamahan nila sa trabaho ang maaapektuhan. 

“Kasama na rito ang kanilang palagiang kasamahan sa trabaho na tinatawag na personal assistant, personal makeup artist, personal stylist, personal designer kasama na rin po ang kanilang mga personal driver at personal helper na ang artista po na personal ang nagpapasweldo sa kanila,” she said.

Santos-Recto lamented that if ABS-CBN is unable to resume its broadcast operations, more Filipinos will lose their livelihood during an already trying time brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ako po ay naniniwala na malaki ang magagawa o maitutulong ng Kongresong ito para huwag na pong madagdagan pa ang mawawalan ng mga trabaho. Dahil sa pandemyang ito, marami na pong negosyo ang naapektuhan, nagsara. Sana naman po mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ABS-CBN na mabalik na sa kanilang operasyon sa mas madaling panahon,” she said. Santos-Recto's son, Luis Manzano, is a Kapamilya celebrity. 

The "Star for All Seasons" said ABS-CBN merits a fresh franchise because it plays an important role in the society.

“Ako po ay naniniwala na ito na ang tamang pagkakataon para tuwirang sagutin ng ABS-CBN ang lahat ng alegasyon na may kaugnayan sa kanilang prankisa at patunayan nila na karapatdapat silang mabigyan ng bagong prankisa ng Kongresong ito,” she said.

Santos-Recto urged her fellow lawmakers to consider and recognize the contribution of ABS-CBN “in terms of public service, in terms of delivering news and information, in terms of taxes it paid to the government, in terms of providing entertainment to the people and in terms of nation building.”

“Ako po ay umaasa na magkakaroon tayo ng positibo, malaya at makatwirang pagdinig,” she said.

ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak earlier said that the company may have to lay off employees by August this year if it is unable to resume broadcast operations soon. 

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