VETERAN broadcast journalists Korina Sanchez-Roxas and Ces Oreña-Drilon are among the high-profile individuals who have been laid off by ABS-CBN, following the rejection of its franchise renewal bid.
Sanchez-Roxas, the long-time host of “Rated K,” took to Instagram to confirm she was one of the first employees involved in the broadcast company’s “bloodbath.”
“You’re hearing it correctly, so far, I guess. It is a bloodbath. This family is slowly but surely being torn apart. We are called one by one, personally, to be told that we are ‘discontinued,’” she wrote.
The network giant announced Wednesday, July 15 that it is forced to cease the operations of some of its businesses and “implement a retrenchment program covering ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries effective end of business day” on August 31. The move will affect many of its 11,000 employees, though no figures have been released on how many layoffs will occur.
This came following the Philippine House of Representatives rejecting the bills seeking to grant the network a fresh 25-year franchise.
“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.
“As much as it hurts us to implement this retrenchment program, this is the only way to ensure the continued employment of the rest of our Kapamilya,” it added.
Roxas, for her part, said her being laid off was not news to her, as she was prepared.
However, she expressed concern for the employees who have fewer options and rely on their jobs for financial survival.
“[It is] not news to me. I tried to be prepared. But how can you prepare for comatose, or death, really? Others taking it much harder. They have much less options and means,” she said.
“We help those we simply can’t deny, but few can’t save all. Apart from the infliction on the gut, it is the heart where it tugs hardest, this episode. We have yet to see how it settles. This is, and will continue to be, painful,” the TV host added.
Drilon confirmed the loss of her job on Twitter.
“This was one of the toughest days I had to face. Telling fellow Kapamilyas that they would lose their jobs by the end of August,” she said in a tweet.
“I lost mine too,” she added.
Czarina Balba, famously known as DJ Chacha, also took to social media to express heartbreak over losing her job, as ABS-CBN radio station MOR 101.9 will be stopping its operations.
“One of the lowest points of my life. I still can’t believe I have to say goodbye to my first love. My forever love. My dream job. 12 years. This is not just work for me,” she wrote on Facebook.
“This [is] not just about money. I LOVE THIS STATION SO MUCH. Really really really brokenhearted right now,” she added. “Mahirap magpasaya ng nagdurugo ang puso pero kakayanin namin ito (It’s hard to make people happy when our hearts are bleeding but we will get through this). We will give our best! Last 45 days para magpasaya mga kaMORkada (Last 45 days to make our kaMORkada happy). Last 45 days to say ‘MOR 101.9 my only Radio For Life!’”
ABS-CBN stopped its operations on May 5 in compliance with the National Telecommunications Commission’s cease and desist order due to the expiration of its congressional franchise.
The order directed ABS-CBN to shut down its various TV and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid Congressional Franchise as required by law.”
Republic Act No. 7966, which granted the network a 25-year franchise to operate TV and radio broadcasting stations expired on May 4, 2020.
On June 30, NTC issued two separate orders shutting down ABS-CBN’s digital broadcast on TVPlus in Metro Manila and SKY’s satellite broadcast nationwide.
The House Legislative Franchises Committee, after an overwhelming vote of 70-11, on Friday, July 10 adopted a resolution recommending the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application.