ABS-CBN says it is 'fully compliant' with labor laws

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 12:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2020 05:03 PM

MANILA – ABS-CBN Corp is "fully compliant" with labor laws, a network official said Monday before a Senate committee investigation on its franchise.

The country's leading media and entertainment company answered questions on "endo" or illegal contractualization ahead of the expiry of its 25-year license to operate in March.

ABS-CBN received "clearance" from the Department of Labor and Employment "a few weeks ago" affirming its compliance with general labor standards, occupational safety and health, and security of tenure," said Mark Nepomuceno, former head of ABS-CBN Corporate Services Group.

"Just a few weeks ago we received clearance from the DOLE that we are fully compliant in all of these areas your honor," Nepomuceno said.

ABS-CBN has a total of 11,071 workers with 5,918 directly hired by channel 2, he said.

"The bulk for project employees are engaged for production of our shows and we also have other content creators that are also engaged for the shows, whom we hire as independent contractors," he said. 

Asked by Sen. Joel Villanueva if ABS-CBN was practicing endo. Nepomuceno said "no." 

ABS-CBN will "continue to find ways to better take care" of its employees once the franchise is renewed, its president and CEO Carlo Katigbak said in response to a query by Sen. Risa Hontiveros. 

“In the last 25 years of this current franchise, sana po naipakita namin sa aming mga empleyado na mahal na mahal namin sila. (I hope we have shown our employees that we love them so much). The fact that they call ABS-CBN their family, Kapamilya, pamilya, is a sign that we have treated them well and there is a genuine love for the company that they work for,” Katigbak said.

“I will agree with you, for so long that ABS-CBN can afford to do it, we will continue to find ways to better take care of our employees, but it has to be done in ways that allows us to sustain the help and the caring that we give them,” he added. 

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The Senate Committee on Public Services led by Sen. Grace Poe convened Monday's hearing with the House of Representatives yet to act on several bills seeking a fresh franchise for ABS-CBN.

Solicitor General Jose Calida also earlier questioned the validity of ABS-CBN Corp’s franchise, citing violations.

Stopping "endo" or "end of contract" to avoid granting employees regular status is a key campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte, who released an executive order prohibiting illegal contracting and sub-contracting.