We share the sadness of the thousands of workers and employees of ABS-CBN who are affected by the decision of the House of Representatives to deny the network’s application for a new franchise.

The verdict may be unfortunate for that would mean imminent job loss for a significant number of employees of one of the largest media enterprises in the country. But the workers are not helpless.

We are ready to extend the necessary assistance to all employees who may be displaced as a result of the congressional action.

And should termination, reduction or displacement of workforce becomes unavoidable, the first thing that ABS-CBN should do is compensate the employees because it is legally bound to pay separation benefits to those who will be retrenched or terminated.

So, as early as now, we need to know how many and who among their workers are entitled to those benefits. This is why our NCR regional office has been directed to determine exactly the number of ABS-CBN employees, who they are and what is the nature of their employment.

We have taken note of the assertions by network executives that the plight and welfare of their thousands of workers was a primary reason why the ABS-CBN franchise has to be granted by Congress.

If they truly care for their workers, then the network is morally bound to give them all pays and emoluments that the law provides.

Besides, our labor laws mandate a company that reduces its workforce or has ceased operations to provide its employees with severance pays or similar emoluments.

The employees should therefore be assured that they are getting separation benefits, and start anew.

Undersecretary  ANA C. DIONE, Department of Labor and Employment