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‘Govt has moral obligation to help displaced ABS-CBN workers’

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‘Govt has moral obligation to help displaced ABS-CBN workers’

IT is a “moral obligation” of the government, specifically the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), to extend cash aid, as well as job-matching assistance, to the over 11, 000 displaced workers of the shuttered ABS-CBN television and radio networks.

Photo by RUY L. MARTINEZ pt2/news_july/07_10/090720_abscbnrally3_martinez ABS-CBN workers on Thursday, July 9, 2020, hold a protest rally outside the House of Representatives to call for the approval of the network’s franchise.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo urged the Executive branch to task the labor department to assist the affected workers following the decision of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises to junk ABS-CBN Corporation’s application for franchise renewal.

“We must find ways to aid those thousands of employees caught in the crossfire of the legal dispute by facilitating their transfer to other existing networks or other competing firms in the same sector,” she said in a statement.

Neither a regular member nor an ex-officio member of the Committee on Legislative Franchises, hence, she cannot vote on any franchise application, Tulfo said she sympathized with the displaced workers of the giant network after its shutdown.

“In the middle of the crisis our country is suffering due to [the] Covid-19 pandemic, more companies have closed down. That is why it would be more difficult for the displaced workers of ABS-CBN to find a job. Job-matching assistance is vital,” Tulfo said.

“It is a moral obligation of the government to extend assistance to the affected workers,” she said.

She proposed to include the affected workers under DoLE’s one-time cash assistance wherein each qualified worker can get a P5,000.

The party-list lawmaker said the government would need to shell out some P55 million for the network’s 11, 000 workers.

“Considering the success of the Department of Finance in securing loans to augment our country’s finances, distributing aid totaling P55 million to displaced workers should not be a challenge,” said Tulfo, a member of the House Committee on Social Services.