MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday denounced efforts of broadcast network ABS-CBN misleading its position to delude lawmakers on the issue of its franchise.

“The labor department denounces attempts by lawyers and officials of ABS CBN to misrepresent its position to deceive members of the House of Representatives in its bid to gain congressional approval for a new franchise,” the DOLE said in a statement.

It also denied statements that it found the network compliant with labor laws and standards.

“We also take strong exceptions to claims that the department has found ABS CBN compliant with labor laws and standards, and that we approve of the seasonal work status for the broadcast firm’s program employees. The facts bear us out. Our labor inspectors found violations of laws and standards by ABS CBN. And on account of those findings, the company took steps to correct those violations,” it added.

The agency also found claims that it said that the network is a compliant company as “patently misleading,” adding that there are “67 pending cases against the company in the National Labor Relations Commission and the various courts.”

The DOLE also warned ABS-CBN’s counsels against the unjust use of the agency’s policy issuance to the advantage of the company.

It added that the rule governing the employee-employer relationship in the broadcast industry 40 years ago cited by the network’s counsels, is not aligned with the provisions of the Labor Code and does not anymore apply to date.

“We also find most detestable the deliberate manner by which Policy Instruction No. 40 issued by the then Labor Minister in 1979 was volunteered to the House committee as basis for the work arrangement in ABS CBN. Misleading as it is, it conveniently leaves the impression that the policy was that of current Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. We are not letting this to pass,” the DOLE added.

The House of Representatives is conducting hearings on the network’s franchise. (PNA)

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