MANILA - Workers of ABS-CBN’s regional network group shared Saturday how their jobs, which they will soon lose following the denial by lawmakers of the media company’s new franchise application, are anchored on public service.
“Dun ko talaga nakita yung, hindi lang pala ‘to trabaho. It’s more on pagtulong talaga sa iba,” Angie Saniel of radio DYAB Cebu told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo as she recalled her entry in the company in November 2013 when supertyphoon Yolanda ravaged the country’s central regions.
(It’s where I saw that this is not just a job. It’s really more on helping others.)
June Perez, Saniel’s senior colleague in DYAB, said the station’s breaking report about the major landslide in Barangay Guinsaugon, Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte in February 2006 was instrumental in letting authorities and the world know about the tragedy.
“Siguro, malalaman natin a few hours after pa. Pero, during that time, siguro, one, two minutes lang nangyari after nung … landslide, nakatawag siya dito sa Cebu. And we put him on the air. Siya yung parang nagre-report… Until si Rico Lucena, yung dating kasamahan natin, na naka-Sky Patrol, yung helicopter natin, nakarating sa Guinsaugon that day,” Perez recounted how the station first learned about the incident from a salesman who witnessed it on site.
(We would have known about that after a few more hours. But, during that time, probably, just a minute or two after the landslide happened, somebody called here in Cebu about it. And we put him on the air. He was the one reporting… Until Rico Lucena, our former colleague here, arrived in Guinsaugon that day via Sky Patrol, our helicopter.)
The ABS-CBN news team arrived at the site at around 2pm, Perez said, around 4 hours after the landslide covered the entire barangay, killing more than a thousand people.
James Galay, who hosts a public service show in DXAB Davao, said he works starting before the sun rises “not only for the sake” of the salary he gets, but to hear out and help address the concerns of their listeners.
“Yung programa ko, public service siya. May mga humihingi ng tulong -may mga may sakit; yung iba, kahit yung pamasahe lang. Yun yung iniisip ko eh. Yung araw-araw na nakikinig at nagsusubaybay sa mga programa natin,” Galay said.
(I host a public service program. People ask for help – some are sick, some are asking for fare. So, that’s what’s in my mind now. I think about our listeners.)
“Nasanay kami in public service. Kahit dito sa bahay, may pumupunta, may humihingi ng tulong,” echoed Cheche Diabordo, Galay’s colleague at ABS-CBN’s Davao AM radio station.
(We are already used to public service. Even here at home, we get visitors asking for help.)
The regional workers could not contain their emotions as they count their remaining days in the company, not only because of their appreciation for the opportunities given them but also the uncertainties they and their colleagues face amid the possible difficulty in finding another job in this time of a pandemic.
“Paano yung iba? Yung life nila is dito na talaga sa ABS-CBN. Maraming pamilya yung maaapektuhan. Hindi ko ma-explain, lalo na yung mga kasamahan namin (na) merong anak,” Saniel said.
Some 7.3 million Filipinos became jobless, as of April, as the health crisis paralyzed the economy.
ABS-CBN management has announced it is implementing a retrenchment program effective Aug. 31, 2020 after its franchise denial by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises last July 10.
The group of companies has a little over 11,000 workers.
Aside from affecting the livelihood of the company’s more than 11,000 workers amid a bruised economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the shutdown of ABS-CBN is also seen by several lawmakers and various sectors as curtailment of the people’s right to information, as well as of press freedom.
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.