ABS-CBN workers, celebs call for support ahead of House panel vote
MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN employees, celebrities, and netizens expressed their support to the embattled media giant online and on the streets as the House committee on legislative franchises is expected to vote this week whether or not to grant ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise.
ABS-CBN workers and supporters concluded their three-day vigil at the broadcast network’s compound in Quezon City on Monday, urging the public to let their voices be heard and support their calls for the network’s franchise renewal.
In a statement, the ABS-CBN Supervisory Employees Union president Raul de Asis said: “Sana po huwag na patagalin ang pagbibigay ng prangkisa sa ABS-CBN dahil ang mga empleyado po ay sobra na pong apektado. Sana po ay pakinggan naman nila ngayon ang taong-bayan.”
(We hope that ABS-CBN’s franchise will be granted soon as its employees are totally affected. We wish that they listen to the public.)
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union president Jon Villanueva asked lawmakers to allow the network to help the government in fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Patuloy kaming mananawagan sa kongresista na bumoto pabor sa ABS-CBN franchise para sa kapakanan ng higit 11,000 na manggagawa. Mahalaga po sa amin ang ABS-CBN dahil bukod sa pagiging mapagbigay na kumpanya, kami din po ay kanilang inaalagaan na parang kapamilya,” Villanueva said.
(We will continue to ask lawmakers to vote in favor of the ABS-CBN franchise renewal for the benefit of its 11,000 plus employees. ABS-CBN is important to us because besides being a generous company, they treated us like family.)
Likewise, various celebrities of the network appealed online for an outcome favorable to the network.
“Tanging dasal na lang ang kinakapitan naming lahat, hindi na para lang sa aming mga artista kundi para sa pamilya ng mga empleyadong nawalan ng trabaho, para sa mga nangangailangan ng mga impormasyon sa mga malalayong lugar, para sa ekonomiya natin na patuloy ang pagbagsak dahil sa pandemya,” actress Judy Ann Santos said.
(Now, we are all holding on to our prayers, not just to the artists but to every family of the employees who lost their job, for those who need information in far-flung areas, for our economy that continues to degrade because of the pandemic.)
“With every ounce of humility that I can muster, I beg of you, please give us a chance to be better,” “I pray you all make the right decision where it’s a win-win for all concerned,” singer Martin Nievera pleaded in his open letter addressed to lawmakers.
During the weekend, netizens also flooded social media platforms with hashtags like #IbalikAngABSCBN, #ForeverKapamilya, and #LabanKapamilya appealing to the members of the House Representatives to grant ABS-CBN a fresh franchise.
However, if the members of the franchise committee vote yes, ABS-CBN’s franchise will still be subject to debate on the plenary by the entire House of Representatives.
A majority of no votes on the other hand would lead to a permanent shutdown of the ABS-CBN’s broadcasting service at least for the duration of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Various media organizations also supported ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal like Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines. Jim Mendoza / trainee
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