ABS-CBN to retrench workers after non-renewal of franchise

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
ABS-CBN to retrench workers after non-renewal of franchise
Supporters and employees of ABS-CBN, the country's largest broadcast network, hold placards as they join a protest in front of the ABS-CBN building in Manila on February 21, 2020. Philippines' government lawyers moved on February 10 to strip the nation's biggest media group of its operating franchise in what campaigners branded a fresh attack on press freedom under President Rodrigo Duterte.
AFP / Basilio Sepe

MANILA, Philippines — Media network ABS-CBN on Wednesday announced that it will enforce a retrenchment program effective August 31 after the non-renewal of its legislative franchise forced it to cease operations of some of its businesses.

Related: House panel denies ABS-CBN franchise

Congress' choice to deny the franchise runs counter to a recent Social Weather Stations survey that found that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos support the renewal while more than half viewed its non-renewal as an attack on press freedom.

“We are doing all we can to mitigate the pain that will be felt by those affected, including paying out separation and retirement benefits and providing job placement programs. The loss of their jobs comes at a time when the uncertain and perilous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic further makes our decision truly difficult, but inevitable,” ABS-CBN said in a statement sent to Philstar.com.

The broadcast giant said that while it regrets having to implement a retrenchment program, it is the "only way to ensure the continued employment of the rest of our Kapamilya."

The network, however, did not state how many of over 11,000 of its affected employees mentioned in congressional hearings are set to be retrenched, but reliable sources told Philstar.com that among those that would be affected are employees and news anchors of ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

“For those who are affected, we pray for you and your families, that you may have the strength and guidance to deal with the challenges ahead. For all that you have done for ABS-CBN, maraming salamat po.”

RELATED: ABS-CBN’s global online singing contest bags 2 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

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