TV Union Decries Mismanagement
Wants Palace Appointees To Resign
like the government-sequestered media establishments, the government-owned
People’s Television Network or PTV4 is seen as grossly mismanaged, its
officials appointed in payment of political debts. Last Jan. 19, restive PTV4
employees demanded the resignation of the PTV4’s Board of Directors, charging
that the current PTV4 board has mishandled the network, which now runs on a very
weak three-kilowatt transmitter, and failed to remit P33.6 million of workers’
contributions to various agencies.
AUBREY SC MAKILAN
PTV 4 employees (left photo) in a dialog with management and Civil Service Commission
representative, Jan. 19 while PTEA president Homer Banda argues a point
by Aubrey SC Makilan
and members of the Peoples’ Television Employees’ Association (PTEA) gave
the board members until the end of January, warning they will march, together
with workers of government-sequestered media networks facing the same problems,
to Malacañang if their board members do not resign.
warning was aired during a dialog attended by PTEA union officers and members,
Civil Service Commission (CSC) representative Alicia de Lima, PTV4 president and
Board chair Mia Concio, General Manager Jose Isabelo, and Board members Jean Kay
dela Cruz and Fr. Roderick Salazar, Jr. The only board member absent was Rolando
Magat, whom management said was in London but the employees said they saw early
that same morning in the office.
union showed its force when more than a hundred of its members, all wearing
black T-shirts, faced the management. This is contrary to the administration’s
claim that only a few officers have their grievances.
have been several dialogs held between union officials and the general manager,
even without a CSC arbiter. In an interview with Bulatlat.com, PTEA
president Homer Banda said that Concio ignored all agreements reached during
to PTV4 management’s statements that marketing problems are the reasons for
the network’s financial woes, the union leaders insist that mismanagement
caused the network’s “fall.”
a letter read by Banda during the dialog, union members listed the problems of
the network as:
losing contracts disadvantageous to the network, which reportedly resulted
in PTV4 incurring debts that run into millions;
projects without thorough planning and preparation;
programs that do
not last due to lack of support from the management;
of new employees despite the network’s financial problems;
programming, as reflected in the poor rating;
the sales/marketing arm;
paying water, electricity, telephone and other bills;
network facilities and equipment, such as the transmitter, vehicles and
other PTV4 properties; and
absence of a
management system in planning, finance and administration of a television
union leader named National Broadcasting Network (NBN) World as the prime
example of mismanagement. He said that it was launched in Feb. 19, 2003 despite
the lack of funds. He said that Congress has yet to approve the name NBN in
place of PTV 4 but it is already
being used while the cheques used for its operations are still PTV4’s.
The PBA issue
the dialog, Concio said that the transfer of the Philippine Basketball
Association (PBA) from PTV4 to ABC 5 played a big part in the depreciation of
the network’s income. She said the network lost a monthly P6 million income.
however said that based on their research, the Summit Sports, the company that
leased the airtime and covered the games, failed to pay its obligations and
currently owes the network about P70 million. He said Summit was never asked to
make a deposit.
Concio said the PBA transfer was due to the management-labor conflict that
created a bad image for the network, the union members booed her. Banda said
that it was the incompetence of the management that really caused the transfer.
Dec. 30, PTEA officers filed the union’s complaint at the Ombudsman regarding
the mismanagement’s alleged failure to remit their contributions to, among
others, the Government Service Insurance Sytem (GSIS), Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR), Pag-ibig Housing.
their affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by Bulatlat.com, union
members said PTV4 failed to remit the following fees which were deducted from
the workers’ salaries:
July 2002 to October
July 2003 to October
Health Insurance Company (PhilHealth)
July 2003 to October
November to December
June 2003 up to
April to October
union members called the attention of the Ombudsman not only for the immediate
remittance of their contributions but also for the prosecution of the board of
directors for violating the laws and charters of concerned agencies, including
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
from these, Banda said, they are not receiving other benefits such as loyalty
(after 10 years of service) and productivity incentive bonuses and overtime (OT)
employee told Bulatlat.com that some retirees were rehired as consultants
since the management could not give them retirement benefits.
in addition to all these, they have also not gotten President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s
promise last December of the P5,000 cash gift to all government employees.
leaders say corruption cases are not limited to incumbents in the network.
March 2001, former chairman and chief executive officer Reynaldo Rivera, former
general manager Ricardo Trofeo and Rey David of Advertising Ventures Asia Inc.
(Advent Asia) were charged with two counts of Republic Act No. 3019 violations
by the Presidential Commission Against Graft and Corruption (PCAGC). The charges
were based on the alleged anomalous airing of online bingo games.
was found that under an agreement, the network would receive 85 percent only of
the agency’s total monthly payment for the live coverage of the bingo games,
leaving the 15 percent as commission fee to the agent.
similar agreement signed in November 1999 was discovered involving the same
agency, that has never been an agent of the network, which deducted P156,000
commission from the P1,040,000 airtime cost of jai alai games.
On a free fall
said that if management of PTV4 continues on its present course, the network
would never recover from bankruptcy. He said the network is running only with a
miserable three-kilowatt transmitter, compared to other stations, such ABS-CBN
which has a 50,000-kilowatt transmitter.
union leader also said the news department has sacrificed the roaming team due
to lack of service vehicles. At present, there are only four vehicles left for
news coverage, with one assigned at Malacañang, and only one service vehicle
for the whole company.
subsidy that comes from the government is reportedly allotted only for
in critical condition, the government could not afford to resort to
retrenchment, as this move will be politically costly for the government,
especially now that the president is running in the coming elections.
union plans to march to Malacañang with other government-sequestered networks,
like RPN 9, IBC-13, and the Journal Group,
which are also experiencing problems with their respective managements, if the
board members refuse to resign by the end of January.
they love the network,” Banda said, “they should give the posts to the right
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