In mid-July, ABS-CBN began its retrenchment process which affected thousands of workers and entire divisions after 70 lawmakers chose to reject the network’s franchise renewal, shutting down its free-TV and radio broadcasts.
Recently, another division said its goodbye as ABS-CBN’s long-running online youth lifestyle magazine, Chalk.ph, will cease operations in the same month it would have marked its 20th year anniversary.
On Twitter, Chalk said goodbye and thanked everyone who supported the online youth lifestyle magazine for the past 20 years,
“As you may all know by now, the non-renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation, our parent company, has greatly weighed down on most, if not all of its platforms which includes Chalk.”
Our story is about to come to its end, but we're ready to make this final chapter meaningful and exciting for all of you.
— CHALK (@chalkdotph) August 7, 2020
Just last month. a saddening story was heard from ABS-CBN Zamboanga reporter Queenie Casimiro who revealed how the rejected franchise bid affected Zamboanguenos and herself.
The ABS-CBN Regional Network Group was shut down, which meant all provincial stations would also be shut down by the end of the month.
“Napakasakit na buong team na wipe out, mawawala ’yung program. Twenty-five years na ’yung TV Patrol Chavacano and it’s the original Chavacano newscast sa Zamboanga City. Meron na rin ibang local Chavacano newscast but tayo ’yung nauna.”
Casimiro revealed that her children are still not enrolled in school because they’re considered unemployed.
“Hindi ko alam kung makakaya ko pa silang i-enrol sa magandang school, yung mga dreams natin, wala na. Meron tayong staff na ang daming obligasyon, nagpapatayo ng bahay namomroblema paano ipapagpatuloy… Totally sira na ’yung plano.”
Even the fate of thousands of Filipino films is in danger as the ABS-CBN Film Archives has been shut down along with its film restoration project, Sagip Pelikula.
According to film critic Andrew Paredes, “It’s such a shame that Sagip Pelikula finds its mandate severely crippled right at the moment when it was just starting to reach even further back into the memories of Philippine cinema.”
Even ABS-CBN’s corporate dining facility, Restaurant 9501, which served weekday lunch buffets to formal haute cuisine dinners, board meeting meals to celebrity-studded press conferences, will also bid goodbye.
On July 17, Chef Him Uy de Baron held a general meeting with his 120-plus staff to inform them that the operation would be shutting down.
As of this report, Restaurant 9501 will be shut down on August 16. As for the 9501 crew, some are retiring, some are starting their own food companies while others are still uncertain of the path ahead.
After the House of Representatives denied ABS-CBN’s franchise, the media company said it has been forced to implement a retrenchment program starting August 31.
Despite ABS CBN’s efforts to keep most of its employees, all they can do is try to mitigate the effect of the rejected franchise.
“We are doing all we can to mitigate the pain that will be felt by those affected, including paying out separation and retirement benefits and providing job placement programs, as much as it hurts us to implement this retrenchment program, this is the only way to ensure the continued employment of the rest of our Kapamilya.”