Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) should pay back wages and overdue benefits of employees of state-owned People’s Television Network Inc. (PTN) and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. (IBC-13).
Due to long delays, he noted that some of their employees have already died without being able to get their back pay, unpaid overtime pay and retirement benefits.
Estrada, chairperson of the Senate labor committee, stressed these employees, who have rendered, should be given their hard-earned money and other benefits due to them.
During last Tuesday’s organizational meeting of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles told senators that while Congress had allocated a budget for the payment of the unsettled dues, the GCG supposedly disallowed
the use of the funds.
Angeles noted that corporate funds of the two television stations should instead be tapped based on existing laws and government guidelines.
“But since the money came from GAA (General Appropriations Act), they are not corporate funds,” Angeles told Estrada upon the latter’s questioning.
Estrada was also told that the unsettled overtime and back pay of PTN and IBC-13 employees cover the period 2013 until 2015.
The government stopped paying the estimated P400 million IBC-13 overdue compensations, including retirement benefits, in 2009.
In a bid to settle the issue, the television network paid some employees on an installment basis P10,000 monthly and 20 percent of their benefits. This, however, stopped in 2014 after the company ran out of funds.
On the other hand, while the issue affecting PTN is now being addressed by the employees’ union, Angeles said any proposed solution, including the reorganization plan of the government-owned TV station, requires the approval of the GCG.
Angeles assured senators that the bulk of the amount Congress appropriated for the two broadcast stations remains with the Office of the Press Secretary