The Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Professional Artists Managers, Inc. (PAMI) and labor center Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) asked lawmakers to consider the livelihood of affected workers and grant the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN during the House panel hearing held on Tuesday, June 30.
OPM president Ogie Alcasid said the group enjoined ABS-CBN in its plea for a renewed franchise as the network has been instrumental for many local artists to achieve their potential and help alleviate their families’ lives through its various programs and platforms.
“Naniniwala po kami na napakalaki po ng naitulong at maitutulong pa ng kanilang music platforms upang matulungan po ang ating mga local singers at songwriters na maipalabas at maiparinig ang kanilang created content tulad ng kanilang mga awitin at ang kanila pong performances,” he said.
Professional Artist Managers, Inc. (PAMI) president June Rufino also sought the Congress’ consideration of the livelihood of its members and their families.
“It is our humble plea to the honorable franchise committee to find it in your hearts and consciousness the future of over 5,000 families who are dependent and hopeful for your affirmative decision on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN,” Rufino urged.
“Without the production employment from ABS-CBN, a significant number of taxpaying Filipino artists will be burdened by their subsequent loss of income,” she added.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN COO for broadcast Cory Vidanes shared how the network’s workers continue to support the company’s fight to renewal amid the fears of losing their jobs.
“Ang mga Kapamilya namin ay puno ng pangamba at takot para sa kinabukasan nila at ng kanilang pamilya. Pero patuloy po sila na nagdadasal, sumusuporta, at umaasa na marenew ang aming franchise para po makasigurado sa kinabukasan ng kanilang mga pamilya at para po makapagpatuloy kaming magserbisyo sa mga Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng aming mga programang nagbibigay impormasyon, edukasyon, inspirasyon, pag-asa, at saya,” she said.
In the same hearing, Sentro proposed to include pro-worker provisions in the network’s franchise renewal and expressed that the threat of retrenchment among the affected workers is inhumane.
“Naniniwala po kami na dapat natin itong ituloy para pag-usapan din ang kapakananan ng mga kasalukuyang empleyado ng ABS-CBN Corporation. Ang magkaroon ng aabot sa 11,000 na manggagawa na humaharap sa pangamba sa kanilang kabuhayan sa gitna ng isang pandemya, sa aming pananaw, ay isang immoral, hindi makatao, at simpleng maling pangayayari,” Sentro campaign officer Benjamin Miguel Alvero said.
Baguio City Rep. Mark Go also appealed to fellow lawmakers to support ABS-CBN and protect the jobs of the network’s workers.
“It’s not about what we debate today that matters, it’s the impact of our debate to our people. And if we want to be relevant and responsible in the delivery to our constituents and our people, it’s high time that we decide to renew for another 25 years the franchise of ABS-CBN. We will not only be helping their people, but the entire country,” he voiced out.
Paranaque City District II Rep. Myra Tambunting likewise urged fellow legislators to vote in consideration of the affected ABS-CBN workers, especially now that the country is in the midst of an unprecedented unemployment crisis.
She said, “I hope that when the committee decides on the franchise, we will consider the many employees whose livelihood are dependent on our decision.”