About 11,000 employees of ABS-CBN should just “find other jobs” if the broadcast network fails to secure a franchise from Congress, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said Thursday.
This, Dela Rosa stressed as he also said he is “not affected” by their possible loss of jobs.
“Hanap ng ibang trabaho para mabuhay at magsumikap. May ibang paraan pa naman siguro para mabuhay tayo (Just find other jobs to survive and work hard. There are other ways on how we can survive.),” Dela Rosa said when asked to comment about the likely unemployment of thousands of workers of the broadcast giant.
“Alangan namang sabihin ko sa kanila na maghimagsik kayo? Hindi naman puwede ‘yun (It’s not like I can tell them to revolt? We can’t do that.),” he said in an online press conference.
Dela Rosa said that the difficulty of finding jobs is not exclusive to ABS-CBN employees.
“Mahirap talaga, kahit hindi ABS-CBN. Lahat apektado hindi lang ABS-CBN employees (It is really difficult not just for ABS-CBN. Everybody is affected, not just ABS-CBN employees.),” he said.
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.
Dela Rosa shrugged off the possibility that ABS-CBN’s franchise won’t be renewed and it will cease operations permanently, saying it does not concern him personally.
“Wala akong nakikitang epekto. Hindi naman ako apektado dahil ‘di naman ako [taga-] ABS-CBN. Iyong ABS-CBN ang maapektuhan,” dela Rosa said in the virtual forum.
Dela Rosa also said 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.”
Last May, the neophyte lawmaker was once again in the center of controversy after he made a joke which netizens felt that it was way too insensitive.
During the end of a hearing, which some lawmakers virtually attended through Cisco Webex, several senators were saying goodbye to each other.
Dela Rosa, who was working remotely, said, “Sarap ng buhay! Sarap ng buhay. Ganito na lang tayo palagi, ha?”
That translates to, “This is the good life! This is the good life. Let’s do this more often, OK?”
When the clip was circulated online, some netizens felt that the joke was done in poor taste, especially because millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs while hundreds have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Dela Rosa explained that he just made the joke because meeting virtually, he thought, was more efficient.
“I said ‘Life is good’ because the discussion of the bills when we’re using Webex is quicker and our session ends earlier. I think it’s more efficient to conduct our session via Webex as long as the attendees’ WiFi signal is stable,” he told ABS-CBN News in English and Filipino.
But netizens are having none of Dela Rosa’s explanations.
One netizen, @MABuendiaHD tweeted, “Bato dela Rosa getting a seat in the senate is one of Philippine politics’ biggest clownery. It shows what a joke this country has become. In a thinking society, he wouldn’t even get elected as a village Captain. But of course, that’s democracy. The majority put an idiot into power.”/Stacy Ang