For ABS-CBN, Six to 16 Years of Service to the Company Does Not Seem to Matter

Her labor case took seven years before the DOLE issued a decision saying Wheng Hidalgo is supposed to be treated as regular employee at ABS-CBN. But instead of gaining job security, Hidalgo was moved around from graveyard to late afternoon shift, and later terminated for rejecting the company’s insulting, long-delayed regularization offer. “I cannot understand why…I gave ABS-CBN my service, love, loyalty,” Hidalgo said.


MANILA — In 2007, Gabby Lopez, the head of broadcasting giant ABS-CBN, publicly commended their reporter Wheng Hidalgo for serving as a good example of how far a “kapamilya” would go to help a “kapamilya.” During a segment of the network’s program TV Patrol, an official of the Malacañang Office for Religious Affairs was seen slamming the door in Ms Hidalgo’s face after she unearthed and reported an anomaly involving a missing money donation for a cancer patient.

Last week, though, it was the ABS-CBN that slammed its door in Hidalgo’s face, figuratively speaking, after the reporter’s seven-year complaint with the DOLE against ABS-CBN unearthed anomalies in the network’s treatment of its employees. Ms Hidalgo’s termination followed months of seeming discrimination in her work schedule as word came out that the DOLE would favorably decide on her and five other reporters’ labor case , which they filed last 2003.

Hidalgo’s desk editors and immediate superiors had reportedly liked her work, enough to give her assignments and recommend her for regularization. (Photo courtesy of Wheng Hidalgo /

Her termination (or end of contract, from the point of view of ABS-CBN management) followed the DOLE decision saying Hidalgo is supposed to be treated as a regular employee by ABS-CBN. It turned out that despite having been with ABS-CBN for 16 years, Hidalgo is not a regular but a contractual employee. She said they sometimes work without contract. Although the DOLE decision has favored her, the ABS-CBN does not appear in the mood to follow it.

When Hidalgo’s latest six-month employment contract lapsed last August 31, the ABS-CBN management “offered” her a “regularization package” that neither recognized her 16-year tenure nor promised her the backwages and other benefits that she should have received for much of 16 years, if ABS-CBN had followed the law and recognized her as a regular employee. The so-called regularization gave her the salary rates of a starting reporter. On top of it, ABS-CBN wanted Hidalgo to drop her labor complaint.

“How could I accept that?” Hidalgo asked.

She told Bulatlat that she was even willing to forgo the backwages and retroactive benefits as long as the company at least recognized her 16-year tenure. But no, she lamented, she was treated instead like she’s privileged the company still deigned to talk to her about regularizing her after she had filed a case against it.

Employee Abuses in ABS-CBN

Ms Hidalgo’s case points to other similar employee abuses and violations of the Labor Code in the profitable network. Aside from Ms. Hidalgo, more than a hundred employees in the thousand-strong IJM (internal job market), who had been employed from five to 20 years at the company, have been terminated since June this year when they refused to drop their complaints or agree to regularizations that came with pay cuts, erased years of work history with the company, among other “lopsided” terms, as the ABS-CBN IJM Workers Union reported. Other regularizations offered this year are covered by fixed-term contracts.

Wheng Hidalgo doing a live report for ABS-CBN. (Photo grab from an ABS-CBN news report via /

If the working condition of employees in ABS-CBN’s internal job market, a pool of talents or workers’ database as ABS-CBN called them, is appalling and deplorable enough for its employees to seek the DOLE’s help, the working condition of other employees seemed even worse.

Hidalgo for instance explained that she was with IPC (intellectual property creators), which is like IJM except that the IJM workers use their skills on machines, while the IPCs are supposed to be “talents” per project or paid for their “artistic output.”

The IJM’s, IPC’s and the TS (or technical staff) – all used to be part of unionized and regularized rank and file employees– are “talents” that in ABS-CBN’s practice are not governed by the country’s eight-hour work law, mandatory vacation or sick leave. Some do not even have Pag-ibig or SSS membership.

Reporters may work eight to 16 hours a day but their pay remains the same. They get no overtime pay. If they worked overnight, then that is only the time they can offset it with a day-off, but that depends on whether the operation would not suffer with this proposed day off.

It is “no-work, no-pay” for thousands of ABS-CBN’s non-regular employees, said Hidalgo. These non-regular employees are the same employees that the DOLE said should have been regarded as regular.

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34 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. ABS-CBN should be exposed for its greed and inhumane treatment of its employees. And to think that taxes of ordinary working Filipinos were used to bail out one of their sister companies: Bayan Tel. I still recall that DBP pardoned the loans of this Lopez owned company to the tune of 800 million pesos. Who paid this bad debt of a Lopez’ owned company? Why are ordinary working Filipinos being made to pay for the losing investment of the Lopezes??????? And here is this news of exploitative labor practices of the Lopezes, grrrrrrrrrrr. . . Charo Santos Concio is the sitting president of the network right? Where is the sense of decency of this woman who is very proud to head such a greedy and inhuman corporation? She seems very proud to be a top woman executive, but she is no different from how a ruthless and insensitive male executive would run a corporation. Shame on your Charo Santos Concio, and to think that she won awards for her own show, ” Kung Malaala Mo Kaya”, a show which capitalizes on the suffering of ordinary Filipinos. How could she reconcile her maltreatment of the employees of the company she runs with the theme of her show? No wonder, she was one of those who laughed out loud at a show of one of their gay talents, making fun of rape and Jessica Soho. Charo Santos Concio is one corporate executive without a conscience!!!!!!!!

  2. Really? I also pity you Mr. John Paul. Ikaw yong hindi marunong at walang alam. Di mo naman kaano ano ang mga ito. Bakit ka sobrang affected? Siguro pakawala ka din ng babaeng kabayo????

  3. Tama ka naman . But do you know her personally?The girl Horse??? Kung ikaw maagawan ng asawa ewan ko na lang kung ano gawin mo. Basta ako i know her personally. T.Y.

  4. You know,you don’t have to feel sorry for them. Malaking pera ang nakuha ng mga natanggal. Siguro it’s their way para makakamal ng malaking salapi. Mga mukhang pera, lalo na yan si weng hidalgo.

    1. it’s not always about the money, girl. i pity you kasi it seems either napakababaw ng political/social consciousness mo or baka pakawala ka ng ABS-CBN. the issue here ay ang labor violations ng ABS-CBN. there’s such a thing as due compensation for tenure, globally-recognized na karapatan ng kahit sinong empleyado or worker. and ABS-CBN being profitable company has the capability to regularize its employees. para sa akin, it’s not Hidalgo and the layed-off employees ang “mukhang pera” kundi ang mga owners at stockholders of ABS-CBN for perpetuating an oppressive labor system sa kanilang kompanyang “Kapamilya”. to be fair, baka ganito rin ang Kapuso, Kapatid at iba pang media companies. something must be done to improve the labor system

  5. i was researching something for our class discussion about Labor Dispute and this one caught my interest. Medyo matagal na pero sana nagkaroon ng magandang settlement ito dahil we in the public, to some degree, look up these people for good examples and a source of inspiration too. thanks God Bless to all…


  7. This is fun. Magkapangalan tayo.

  8. Good day! Kindly delete the comment of that Hazel Plastina of #23. She/he is making kwento out of my expense. I don’t know Weng Hidalgo po. I can’t even say those words she/he uttered. Thanks po!

  9. I know wheng hidal hidalgo . She is the most plastic media personnel I’ve ever know n. Lahat ng kanyang pinapakita kaplastikan lahat. Masama ugali nyan bukod sa panget nyang mukha. Karma yan sa kanya. Dinadaan pa sa religious activity pero kung makapagmura akala mo kung sino.


  10. · Edit

    napansin ko lang bakit po wala man lang na kinuhang side para sa ABS_CBN sa report na ito..di ko tuloy alam kung ano ba talga ang real score…isang side lang ng story ang nakalagay..siyempre lahat ng agaisnt sa ABS_CBN tlga mag tatalak dito…



  12. isa lang ang masasabi ko, GANID si gabby lopez!

  13. i know weng hidalgo, madalas ko mapanood sya, pero what happen to ABS CBN, god, this is awful,kaya super BABA ng rating nila, from morning to primetime… KARMA na kaya yun?

  14. ABS CBN really have thick faces…SOBRA!!! They think that just because PNOy won…they can do anything they want. Another scenario nalang…ABS CBN is currently filming not 1 but 2 shows inside a house without permission from the "real" owner. Although meron mga nakatira dun, but these people are not the REAL owners. Nakipag-usap yung owner sa location manager and nakipag set up ng meeting togather with a lawyer. Hindi sumipot yung location manager at sinabing "Labas na kami diyan sa kung ano mang gulo meron yung bahay na yan!"…Ayun naman pala eh…BUT as of this very moment tuloy parin yung filming of 2 shows inspite na nagwala na mismo yung owner sa film location.

    Ang ABS CBN kung ano gusto nilang gawin yun ang masusunod kahit wala na sila sa jurisdiction nila. All I can say is…If Gabby Lopez doesn't get his acts together, he might end up having the same illness as his father or even worse. Karma strikes back really fast nowadays.

  15. how can you accuse ABS CBN bias when you do not even have the side of ABS CBN on this report?

  16. @bern dyan tayo whag pumayag na maging private ang pagcor,pcso.. dahil maraming natutulungang mahihirap ang pagcor at pcso… lalu na yung mga mahihirap na merong sakit na kapos sa pambayad ng ospital. Dahil ang pcso at pagcor ay nagbibigay ng discount fee sa ospital para sa mahihirap o kapos sa pambayad at sila ang nag sho shoulder ng ibang gastos.. Pag nangyari yun.. wala nang matatakbuhan ang mahihirap na kapos sa panggastos sa doktor at ospital …

  17. ang mga lopez bumabawi na sa mga ginastos nila sa kampanya ni p-noy… mataas singil sa meralco, sa tubig, sa NLEX, at kung saan pa na mga hawak nila na kompanya sa kinuha nila sa gobyerno… gusto nila hawakan lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno… baka pagcor maging kanila na rin… mga SAKIM!!!

    1. talo pa ng lopez ang napoles. si napoles may kaso sa pang scam, ang lopez nagnanakaw sa sobrang singil ng koryente at tubig, hindi inaaresto.

  18. Yung iba minimum ka na.. tapos yung kinakaltas sa iyo na sss,tax,health, pag na end contract ka na. Saka mo malalaman na hindi pala hinuhulog.

    Wheng ganyan talaga next time, Love yourself next your work.

  19. It was obvious that ABSCBN favored Aquino's candidacy. Imagine, a legislator for 12 years with zero accomplishment winning the top seat of the land.

    It is nice to know that this site is publishing issues like this but it saddens me to see some activists supporting Noynoy during the campaign. I lost respect for these guys and funny now they are complaining.

    As one of the most effective supporter of Aquino, ABS-CBN will surely abuse their power.

  20. ibulatlat nyo naman kung sino pumirma ng contractualization law

  21. ganyan talaga dito sa pinas..hehhee

    maraming ganyan dito.. magugulat ka na lang kung sino pa yung nirerespeto o malaking kumpanya ganyan ang istilo…

    sino pa yung malakas kumitang kumpanya sila pa ayaw mag regular.. ok lang sana contractual o contractualization kung malakihan ang sweldo.. halimbawa contractual ka ng 1year basta per month mo not below 15thousand. para kahit papano makakaipon ka o meron kang mabibili.

    Kaso kadalasan dito sa pilipinas contractual kana.. madalas minimum ka o pag minalas ka below minimum pa. kahit nakagraduate ka..

    Buti na lang meron ng call center kahit papano mataas magbigay ahahahha

  22. ABS-CBN recently boosted that it earned billions, yet they do not care about their employees tenure. Kayang-kayang magbayad ng millions sa mga pini-piratang artista dahil sa pinag-kakakitahan, pero sa sariling empleado ay tinitipid. Ito ba ay dapat tawaging KAPAMILYA NETWORK?

  23. My Brother inlaw was one of those that got laid off, I know for fact that he worked way more than 8 hours per day, for poor pay. When they took them all out for dinner then dropped the bomb on them that they no longer had a job (after more than 15 years)and dodging bullets (he has a backpack with a bullet hole)this is the thanks for a job well done, it was devestating to him his wife and 3 kids. I don't think that this is a very good company and he is better off not working fot them, but now he has no job and income.

  24. Simple, if ABS-CBN honors the 16 years of service, Weng will get a huge amount when she retires. Ganyan talaga ang gawain ng HR ng ABS, kahit lilipat ng ibang department, they will offer a slightly higher rate pero you will be hired as a new employee para back to zero ulit ang tenure. San ka nakakita ng company na a managing director lost a lot money in one department because of bad decisions, practically does not know what he/she is doing pero still got promoted? Ganyan talaga ang "Kapamilya", In Service of the Filipino People.

  25. Sugapa, sakim, napakaganid ng ABS-CBN kung totoo to…aanhin kaya nila ang pera e hindi naman nila madadala sa hukay yan…

  26. I certainly agree of what was exposed to this article. I was once a part of the Contractual Employees in one of its channels. Worked 3 days straight because of MILENYO and was only given 500 php for overtime. It really sucks.

  27. Grabe, buti na lang di ako nag-apply dun nung nag-graduate ako. Kung ganyan lang ang pagtrato sa mga empleyado, sana naman dumating na ang karma nila.

    Tingnan nga natin kung ano ang mangyayari sa isyung ito.

  28. We have also look into the other side of the coin to make it fair. we don't know exactly the real picture of the scenario. maybe, the ABS-CBN evaluated their decision before reach into action.

    1. the article could definitely have been improved had an attempt made to get ABS-CBN’s side, particularly on why the 16-year tenure was not honored. but not having the side of ABS-CBN does not negate the assertions of Hidalgo and the other reporters/employees interviewed. there has been several news and in-depth articles confirming that this has been a long-standing practice not only in ABS-CBN but also in other large media networks, and almost all big business establishments like SM. to keep profit margins up, labor costs must be kept at a minimum, thus you have contractual-part time employees, including the “talent” system. kung strict ang implementation ng labor laws, hindi dapat pinapayagan ito ng taumbayan. it’s the same with the volunteer-trainee system ng mga hospitals at ang contract system halimbawa ng SM malls. in a genuinely humane and democratic society, every worker or employee must really be regularized after a period of productivity. any other situation is simply inhuman, un-Christian and evil. and to think the profits are cornered mostly by the business owners and the stockholders/investors. ito ang main issue, not whether the article is fair or not

  29. hindi lang sakim ang abs-cbn…ganid at mapansamantala sa mga uring manggagawa…ginagamit nila ang mga maimpluwensyang tao para sa sarili nilang kapakanan….kapamilya raw ang tag line pero sa totoo isa itong kahunghangan at malaking kalokohan..lahat ng paraan ginagawa ng abs-cbn para makapanlamang at makapanghakot ng pera sa tao…puro kasinungalingan ang mga nilalabas na press release ng abs na hiring sila at hindi sila nagtatanggal ng mga empleyado….

  30. it simply means that abs-cbn is not in favor of regularizing employees who are not in favor of what abs-cbn tells them to report. in short, abs does not like to take employees who have their loyalty to honest and truth journalism than loyalty to abs.

  31. sakim pa sa lahat na kasakiman ang ABS-CBN, lalo na ngayon na nanalo na si P-noy, ang pambatong manok ng mga kapitalista at asyendero, kaya kailangan tayong uring mangagawa magkaisa, isa ang panawagan palitan ang sistema.

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