dyDD workers ask for separation pay

Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento and Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - November 3, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – At least sixteen employees of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo requested the National Labor Relations Commission  to compel Cebu Provincial Board Member Grecilda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero to give what they said is due them.

The employees, who allegedly did not receive their salaries and separation pay after the radio station stopped operating three months ago, yesterday lodged a complaint before the NLRC against Zaballero, the president of PAFI Foundation Inc.

El Nuevo Bantay Radyo engineering department head Cesario Cajes, who was also one of the complainants, said they want Zaballero to pay them for the years they have served the company.

Cajes, a 45-year-old Bohol native, had worked for Bantay Radyo since 2002 and was receiving P15,000 monthly salary. He has four children aged 3, 12, 13 and 14.

The radio station went off-air after the exciters of its transmitters had been removed on August 1. Exciters are important in radio operation because they enhance the signals that allow a radio to be ultimately heard by end-users.

Since 2002, the network had been operating under the management of PAFI Foundation and the family of the late Cebu vice governor Gregorio Sanchez

Cajes said aside from them, nine other employees from the administrative department are also planning to file a labor case against Zaballero.

Sought for comment, Zaballero said she respects the move of the employees, saying they have the right to do so.

However, she considered the issue as a result of the refusal of SIAM to return the exciters despite an injunction granted by the court enjoining the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative from taking over the management and operations of Bantay Radyo facilities.

“Asa ang hustisya? How can we be able to pay? We are supposed to be operating na karon, makabayad unta ta nila. Naa man unta’y injunction, wa man giuli ang exciters. Karon ang naapektuhan ang mga empleyado,” she said.

Last July, Zaballero filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court against SIAM, which is the Cagayan de Oro-based owner of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo and CFI, which was supposed to take over the operations of the station on August 1.

According to Zaballero, PAFI initiated a talk with SIAM in December 2014 for its renewal as legitimate manager and operator of the three radio stations: dyDD in Cebu City, dyHH in Bogo City, and dyZZ based in Guihulngan, Negros Occidental. The existing contract then was to expire in July of this year.

After verbally agreeing to renew the contract, PAFI deposited P700,000 to SIAM’s account as its initial payment for its financial obligations on April 10, 2015, said Zaballero.

However, she received a letter from SIAM telling her that it would not renew its contract with PAFI and that instead it had entered into a contract with CFI. The case remains pending in court. —/JMD (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BANTAY RADYO BOGO CITY CAJES CEBU CEBU CITY CEBU PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBER GRECILDA CESARIO CAJES COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE EL NUEVO BANTAY RADYO ZABALLERO
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