Penalize ABS-CBN if warranted, but give it chance for sake of 11,000 workers – Hataman
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman believes that ABS-CBN should be given a chance to so its 11,000 employees could keep their jobs.
Hataman, who was against the franchise denial of the country’s largest television network, said that ABS-CBN should be held accountable if it has any shortcomings, but it should not be totally shut down because thousands would face the possibility of being unemployed.
“So my position is this: Hold ABS-CBN responsible if it has any violations of the law, but give it a franchise so that 11,000 employees can continue working,” he said in Filipino to explain is vote on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal.
“If ABS-CBN will not be given a franchise, the welfare of more than 11,000 workers, who will face a big blow in their lives, will lose their jobs and their source of livelihood,” Hataman said.
On Friday, the franchise application of ABS-CBN’s was denied by the House legislative franchise committee, which voted 70-11 to approve the 40-page recommendation of a technical working group to reject the network’s fresh 25-year franchise after holding 12 hearings.
Officials of the broadcasting network earlier said it might be forced to lay off workers starting August if the shutdown would continue. In May, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the media giant to stop its operations after its legislative franchise lapsed.
Various issues were thrown against the company owners, who were accused of using the media to protect their business interests.
Hataman said the solution to the accusations was not the complete shutdown of the network.
“Are the errors and shortcomings of the ABS-CBN management equivalent to the welfare of its workers? Is it a solution to take away its franchise due to allegations of wrongdoing?” he pointed out.
“If we compare ABS-CBN to someone who is sick, will it the cure be to kill it? Or should it be given medicine for its ailment?” he said.
The country’s unemployment rate during the coronavirus lockdown in April climbed to 17.7 percent, which translates to 7.3 million Filipinos. This was said to be the highest since 2005.
“As more days pass that ABS-CBN is off the air, the more the job security of its employees becomes uncertain, especially those in the provinces. It’s painful to lose a job, especially during a pandemic when it’s hard to find employment,” Hataman said.
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