‘Not the time to be heartless,’ Vilma Santos says after ABS-CBN loses franchise bid
MANILA, Philippines — It is not the time to be “heartless” as the country faces problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos said as she condemned the denial of ABS-CBN’s bid for a new franchise.
Last Friday, the House committee on legislative franchises, voting 70-11, denied granting ABS-CBN a new congressional franchise to resume its operations.
“Kailangan at this point in time, nagtutulungan tayo para makapagbigay ng isang malaking solusyon para sa mga problemang dumadating sa bansa natin. This is not the time to be heartless,” said Santos, who was among the 11 lawmakers who voted in favor of granting ABS-CBN a new franchise, in an interview over ANC.
(It is necessary that at this point in time, we are helping each other give solutions to the problems in the country. This is not the time to be heartless.)
Santos, an actress, enjoined other lawmakers alongside critics to “open their eyes” that the country has yet to address the health crisis which also resulted in the job loss of millions of Filipinos.
“So hindi ito ‘yung sinasabi nilang nagddrama, nagpapaawa. Of course not. ‘Wag niyo isara yung mga mata niyo. Gamitin niyo rin yung mga puso niyo, wag puro utak, gamitin niyo rin yung mga puso niyo,” she said.
(This is not what they are saying, that we are being dramatic, asking for sympathy. Of course not. Don’t close your eyes. Use your heart, not just your mind.)
“Alam natin ang sitwasyon ng bansa natin. COVID-19 nilalabanan natin. Ang dami nang nawalan ng trabaho,” she went on.
(We know the situation of our country. It is COVID-19 that we are fighting against. Many have already lost their jobs.)
The country’s unemployment rate climbed to 17.7 percent in April equivalent to 7.3 million Filipino workers, preliminary results of Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) labor force survey showed.
There are some 11,000 ABS-CBN employees at risk of losing their jobs with the denial of the network’s bid for a new franchise. ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak earlier said they may start retrenching employees by August if they fail to secure a franchise.
Furthermore, Santos noted how Filipinos from far-flung areas rely on ABS-CBN to get their information especially in times of natural calamities.
“Ang karaniwan na nagiging biktima nyan, malalapit sa tubig, sa dagat. Naririnig natin sila, ang tanging source of information nila ay yung signal na meron ang ABS-CBN na cinoconsider na talagang pinaka-widest reach kaya nagkakaroon ng balita at nabibigyan ng balita yung mga mahihirap,” Santos said.
(The victims of this are those who are near waters like the sea. We hear them say that their source of information is ABS-CBN which is considered to have the widest signal reach and that’s how the poor receive their news.)
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