Government vows to protect rights of RPN9 employees-A A +A
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
THE government assured Tuesday that the employees of Radio Philippines Network Inc. (RPN9) who will be affected by the reported retrenchment will be getting appropriate compensation.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, who supervises government media entities, said his office will monitor the developments in RPN as the network decided to lay off at least 200 workers.
"We have been informed by RPN management that they have issued letters or notices of retrenchment to some 200 employees of the network," Coloma said. "We continue to monitor the developments in RPN to ensure that all the rights of the employees under the Labor Code are adequately protected."
Coloma said that according to the present collective bargaining agreement between RPN management and employees, 45 days were given to implement the retrenchment notice, which has been already sent out.
The Palace official clarified that RPN is no longer a government corporation since 66 percent of two-thirds of the equity is already owned by private corporations such as Far East Managers and Investors Incorporated or FEMII with 34 percent equity and Solar Entertainment Group with 32 percent. The government has 20.8 percent equity, while the remaining 14 percent were owned by individual private stockholders.
FEMII is investment group associated with the late Ambassador Roberto Benedicto, said Coloma.
Although majority of the shares are owned by private companies, Coloma said the PCOO continues to supervise the operations and management of RPN.
He added that the participation of the government in the management of RPN is limited to only two board directors namely, Lourdes "Deedee" Sytangco and Antonio "Tonipet" Albano, who served as president of RPN until he resigned effective August 31.
"So our participation in the management of RPN has been limited to the participation of the two government-nominated directors and our constant and periodic monitoring by way of requiring management reports and reports of all significant actions taken including this decision to implement a retrenchment," he said.
Coloma noted that the programming and operations of the network will continue, particularly the block time arrangement with Solar.
Coloma said the Cabinet economic development cluster has already approved in principle the privatization of RPN and IBC-13.
"This will have to be presided over by the privatization council and they will specify the rules for open and competitive bidding for privatization," he added.
He said some of the proceeds of the privatization will be used for the revitalization of People's Television Network.
Coloma confirmed that San Miguel Corporation is considering stakes in RPN and IBC-13 based on what he read on the newspapers but he said that the giant conglomerate has yet to communicate to him officially or unofficially. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)