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200 RPN 9 employees to lose jobs

Some 200 employees have been retrenched from government-sequestered TV station RPN 9 following the company's continued financial losses, a Malacañang official said Tuesday. “We have been informed by RPN management that they have issued letters or notices of retrenchment to some 200 employees of the network,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Sonny Coloma at a press briefing. According to the Labor Code, the management has a 30-day period to implement such notice. But according to the present collective bargaining agreement between RPN management and employees, the notice period is 45 days. “We continue to monitor the developments in RPN to ensure that all the rights of the employees under the Labor Code are adequately protected,” Coloma said. RPN (Radio Philippine Network) 9 is under the supervision of the PCOO, but is mostly owned by private individuals and corporations. This supervision, however, does not extend to responsibility over the laid off employees, Coloma clarified. Coloma also said that as far as he knows, the retrenchment will not affect the programming of the station. “This does not cover the programming or operations of the network itself. It only covers the relationship between the management as employer and the employees. As far as I know, wala pong direct effect ito sa kanilang operations or programming,” he said. At present, the government only has one director, Lourdes “Deedee” Siytangco, on RPN’s board after Antonio “Tonipet” Albano, who served as president of RPN, resigned last August 31. “So meron pa pong isang government seat ngayon that is vacant,” Coloma said.   According to Coloma, the new composition of the RPN Board reflected the in equity structure as of October 2011 was as follows: 34 percent, Solar Entertainment Group; 32 percent, FEMII or Roberto S. Benedicto Group; 20.8 percent, Government of the Republic of the Philippines; and 14 percent, individual private stockholders." — Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News