MANILA--Entertainment industry groups on Tuesday appealed to Congress to grant ABS-CBN a new broadcast franchise, citing its contributions and the thousands of jobs to be lost if the network would not be allowed back on the air.
June Rufino appeared before a joint House committee hearing ABS-CBN's franchise application to speak for the Professional Artist Managers Inc. (PAMI), which involves 400 artists, who, in turn, represent more than 5,000 families.
Keeping ABS-CBN shut down by rejecting its application for a new 25-year franchise "undoubtedly will have a very devastating impact" on these families, she said.
"It is therefore our humble plea to the honorable franchise committee to find it in your hearts and consciousness the future of over 5,000 families who are dependent and hopeful for your affirmative decision," she told congressmen.
ABS-CBN artists and talent managers earlier agreed to pay cuts to help cushion the financial impact of the shutdown on the network, which has been losing P30 million to P35 million in daily revenues.
“In good times, ABS-CBN has been with us. In bad times, we want to be there for them," Rufino had said.
The Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) also called on the House committee to allow ABS-CBN back on the air with a new broadcast franchise, noting that the network has been helping promote local singers and songwriters.
"Napakarami nang singers ang nabigyan ng pagkakataon na maiahon ang kanilang pamilya at mabigyan ng kaliwanagan ang kanilang mga pangarap na maging isang ganap na singer sa mga programa ng Channel 2," said OPM president Ogie Alcasid.
(A lot of singers have been given the opportunity to support their families and realize their dreams through programs on Channel 2.)
"Kami po ay nakikiisa sa ABS-CBN sa paghingi po sa inyo na bigyan po ang ABS-CBN ng pagkakataon na mabigyan ng panibagong prangkisa."
(We are one with ABS-CBN in appealing that the network be given a new franchise.)