THE Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (Nagkaisa) slammed the House of Representatives for being the cause of death of the livelihood of 11,000 employees after it denied the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN on Friday, July 10.
In a statement, Nagkaisa chairman Sonny Matula said the lawmakers' denial of a new franchise for ABS-CBN is "condemnable" considering that it happened while the country is battling the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
"In killing the franchise bill of ABS-CBN, the House of Representatives (HOR) killed with it the livelihood of 11,000 workers and the only means of survival of their families and dependents in this time of pandemic," said Matula.
"Instead of protecting and creating jobs, the HOR destroyed jobs today, when people are losing employment in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.
The labor leader said the shortcomings and wrongdoings of the broadcast giant does not justify the ending of its operations.
"ABS-CBN may not be everyone's model corporation, but none of its perceived sins justify its killing. What Nagkaisa was demanding for is a pro-worker franchise, not a termination paper for its 11,000 employees," Matula said.
What is worse, he stressed, is that the denial of a new franchise was not even due to ABS-CBN's alleged violations.
"Congress acted on a presidential order, motivated by vengeance. In doing so, it has yet again blurred the lines between co-equal branches of government," he said. "The HOR has let down the people again."
In a vote of 70-11, the House committee on legislative franchises adopted on Friday, July 10, the recommendation of its technical working group to reject the bills seeking to grant ABS-CBN a fresh franchise.
The lawmakers said the decision is due to ABS-CBN's alleged “numerous violations” of the terms of its old franchise, which already lapsed last May 4. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)