Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines commended ABS-CBN for continuing to pay its employees despite halting productions of its programs and even urged private companies to follow suit and prioritize the welfare of their workers.
“Private companies and employers must emulate this measure of ABS-CBN to secure the income of their employees in this time of crisis. Employers [have] to be more compassionate and show concern to their employees by not cutting off their wages for this month,” Defend Jobs Philippines said.
Likewise, talent managers group Professional Artist Managers, Inc. (PAMI) lauded ABS-CBN for compensating those working in suspended productions. “We appreciate their kindest and most generous consideration to continue compensating the cast and crew of ongoing productions during the suspension period without the need for request or demand.”
The group also expressed gratitude to the media network for its “swift and decisive action to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by temporarily suspending all of its productions involving our artists, specifically; and all its cast and crew members.”
PAMI said that the move gave them reassurance that the company puts the health and safety of Kapamilyas in highest regard.
This was affirmed by “Magandang Buhay” host Melai Cantiveros on Instagram. “Thank you Kapamilya network, my company, dahil sa mabilisang aksyon sa COVID-19 at ‘di rin kami pinapabayaan mga trabahante.”
As expected, the current health risks posed by COVID-19 has revealed so much about how companies treat its employees, and for media networks who employ front-liners such as journalists whose job is to deliver news to the public, utmost care and assistance is vital.
DZMM reporter Zandro Ochona couldn’t help but be emotional at how exemplary ABS-CBN is treating its workers. “Sa ABS-CBN, libre na breakfast, lunch, dinner at merienda namin. May quarters na rin so we can sleep sa office. May shower din naman so we can take a bath there. May shuttle din para masundo kami from a place to ABS-CBN. May option na rin kami to work from home kahit reporters kami.”
Through a screencap of a Facebook message to her friend, fellow Kapamilya journalist Jacque Manabat also voiced appreciation to the company. “Ito’ng little things make me appreciate ABS-CBN. Libre food! And in-advance na sweldo. We have vitamins din and supply of masks.”
Meanwhile on Twitter, @edsMNL (Editors of Manila) asked its followers who are working in the media to share with them through direct message how their companies are dealing with them during this trying time.
Responses from Kapamilya employees were entirely positive, with one sharing, “ABS employees and its subsidiaries are work[ing] from home, and those who have to go to work have in their disposal vans na point to point.”
“May compensation for all affected by cancelled programs, premium pay for those [working in the] field or inside company premises, and full coverage for hospitalization and medical expenses for employees kahit hindi regular,” the person added.
The ABS-CBN employee ended by noting that, “Marunong mag-alaga [ang] ABS ng employees nila, kaya maraming nags-stay or bumabalik.”
Another Kapamilya lauded the company’s commendable response to the crisis, stating, “We’re allowed to wfh (work from home), pwede rin mag-uwi ng PC kung wala kayong sariling gamit. May pa-hotel para sa mga du-duty pero nag-aalala na makahawa sa bahay nila sakaling mahawa sila.”
The person further said, “May pa-door-to-door din na van service, in and out of Manila. Maya’t maya update sa amin ng kung ano’ng serbisyo nila lalo sa duty, tsaka may maagang pasahod din para sa mga kailangan na ng pera.”
Indeed, difficult times call for a little more compassion, and future media practitioners should take mental notes on which employers ensure its employees’ well-being in times like these.