MANILA - Thousands of employees of ABS-CBN should just "find other jobs" if the broadcast giant fails to secure a franchise from Congress, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said Thursday.
"Hanap ng ibang trabaho para mabuhay at magsumikap. May ibang paraan pa naman siguro para mabuhay tayo," Dela Rosa said when asked to comment about the likely unemployment of thousands of workers of the broadcast giant.
(Just find other jobs to survive and work hard. There are other ways on how we can survive.)
"Alangan namang sabihin ko sa kanila na maghimagsik kayo? Hindi naman puwede 'yun," he said in an online press conference.
(It's not like I can tell them to revolt? We can't do that.)
Dela Rosa conceded to comments that it is difficult to find new jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, but said that the challenge is not exclusive to ABS-CBN employees.
"Mahirap talaga, kahit hindi ABS-CBN. Lahat apektado hindi lang ABS-CBN employees," he said.
(It is really difficult not just for ABS-CBN. Everybody is affected, not just ABS-CBN employees.)
ABS-CBN Corp. and its subsidiaries employ some 11,000 workers.
The broadcasting earlier told employees it "would not take away any jobs for 3 months" following its May 5 shutdown, given "the difficult economic situation" that the coronavirus pandemic spawned, ABS-CBN Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak said.
However, the company might let go of employees if the shutdown continues. ABS-CBN has been losing P30-35 million in advertising revenues daily since regulators forced it off air.
CLOSURE HAS 'NO EFFECT'
Dela Rosa added the possible closure of the Philippines' largest broadcasting company has "no effect" on Filipinos' right to information as there are "other news outfits that are performing."
"Wala akong nakikitang epekto. Hindi naman ako apektado dahil hindi naman ako taga-ABS-CBN... May iba namang news outfits na nagpe-perform," he said.
(I don't see any effect. I am not affected because I am not from ABS-CBN... There are other news outfits that are still performing.)
Dela Rosa later on clarified that he is still hoping that members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises would vote according to their conscience, saying he is concerned for ABS-CBN workers, especially those in Davao City.
"From day 1 ng aking serbisyo sa Davao, kasama ko na 'yang mga 'yan," he said, referring to ABS-CBN's news teams in its Davao bureau.
(From day 1 of my service in Davao, I have been with them.)
"Parang mga kapatid ko na 'yan... 'Pag gagapang ako, gapang din 'yan. 'Pag nagkaputukan, tatakbo ako, takbo din 'yan," he said.
(They are like my siblings... When I crawl, they will crawl. When shots are fired, they will run with me when I run.)
"Sana maliwanagan ang ating counterparts sa House of Representatives to vote according to their conscience. Sana wag sila magpadala sa pulitika, other factors, kung 'di according to their conscience," he said.
(I hope our counterparts from the House of Representatives will vote according to their conscience. I hope they will not be swayed by politics and other factors, but just according to their conscience.)