ABS-CBN workers who may be displaced may get financial assistance from gov't - Palace
Malacañang said on Wednesday that workers of ABS-CBN Corp. who could be displaced due to the shutting down of the broadcast network might receive financial assistance from the government.
In a television interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted that the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission at this time of coronavirus pandemic could "not be prudent."
But he reiterated that the NTC, which is exercising a quasi-judicial power, has "complete independence" in coming out with such an order against ABS-CBN, which employs around 11,000 workers.
Asked of the plan of government on ABC-CBN workers who could be displaced with the closure of the network's television and radio stations nationwide, Roque said, "maybe we can include in the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) program so that they can receive assistance for two months."
The official was referring to the Small Business Wage Subsidy program, which will provide around 3.4 million workers in the formal sector with salary subsidies amounting to a combined P51 billion for two months.
The wage subsidies range from P5,000 to P8,000 per month per employee for two months, depending on the minimum wage levels in the regions where the workers are employed.
But in a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the issuance of the cease and desist order of NTC against ABS-CBN does not have immediate and direct impact on the employment of its employees.
"It does not automatically extinguish the corporate existence of any company. Legal remedies are still in place and available," he said.
He said ABS-CBN's employees shall continue to be employed and they remain entitled to all labor standards.
"We trust that this issue will be resolved based on applicable laws, rules and regulations. In any case, paramount is the protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of all workers including those of ABS-CBN," Bello said. Celerina Monte/DMS