ABS-CBN union president to Bato: Looking for new jobs difficult in a pandemic

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 10 2020 01:19 PM

Press freedom and labor advocates and ABS-CBN Employees hold a a prayer and candle ligthing outside the ABS-CBN compound on July 9, 2020. The House Committee on Legislative Franchise held its summations of arguments on the broadcast network’s 25-year franchise earlier in the day. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — It would be difficult for ABS-CBN employees to look for new jobs in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic if Congress decides not to renew the franchise of the network, the president of ABS-CBN Supervisory Employees Union said Friday.

This, after Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said the network's employees should seek employment elsewhere if ABS-CBN's franchise bid is rejected. 

“Mali po iyon para sa mga naglilingkod sa bayan ang sabihin mo sa mga tao na bahala na sila. Saan kayo kukuha ng trabaho sa gitna ng pandemya sa dami ng taong nangangailangan ng trabaho,” union president Raul de Asis, 47, told ABS-CBN News.

(It is wrong for a public servant to say that it is up to you to find a new job. Where will you find one in the middle of a pandemic, a lot of people are in need of a job.)

"Dapat ang senador nagbibigay sila ng recommendation, nagbibigay sila ng alternative hindi ‘yong papabayaan mo na lang sila,” he added.

(A senator should give recommendations, they give alternatives and not just leave them to fend for themselves.)

Asis, a father of 5, said that at his age, it would be difficult for him to look for a just under his expertise and even have sidelines to compensate for their needs.

“Matanda na ako, ang hirap nang maghanap ng trabaho. At the same time, sino ‘yung kumpanyang kukuha sa’kin kung mayroon na silang naka-assign lalo na sa’kin sa lighting design ang expertise ko,” the union leader said. 

(I am old, it would be difficult for me to look for a job. At the same time which company will accept me if they have already someone in my field of expertise in lighting design.)

“Wala namang pagraraketan sa labas dahil wala namang trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Ang hirap gumalaw sa totoo lang,” he added.

(Sidelines are scarce because there are no jobs due to the pandemic. It is really hard to move.)

The joint committee in Congress will decide this Friday the fate of the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

More than 11,000 employees of the network are at risk of losing their jobs if the franchise is not renewed.

“Sa akin po, sana man lang pakinggan ang hinaing ng mga empleyado itong mga taong mawawalan ng trabaho. Pakinggan din ang ABS-CBN pilit niyang binubukas ang kumpanya sa pagbabago.”

(For me, I hope that they will listen to the cries of the employees, these people that might lose their jobs. Listen to ABS-CBN that is opening the company for change.)