MANILA, Philippines – The veteran broadcast journalist and news anchor Kathy San Gabriel served state-run television network PTV-4 for more than a decade but the government-run TV management gave her a mere two-day notice her contract won’t be renewed.
Kathy San Gabriel said in a phone interview with The Velvetiere that she was called to the office of General Manager (GM) Dino Apolonio on Wednesday, June 28. San Gabriel was informed then that they would not be keeping her as a PTV anchor as her contract was scheduled to expire on Friday, June 30.
GM Dino Apolonio told San Gabriel that the final decision was decided based on the recommendation of the state-run news department. PTV-4 General Manager told the news anchor that the management is eyeing someone else to anchor the flagship government newscast as part of their efforts to reformat.
The General Manager couldn’t give direct answers when San Gabriel asked him why there was such short notice.
“Hindi naman ako magpupumilit kung ayaw nila sa akin. Sana man lang naging makatao sila, [nagbigay] ng sapat na panahon para makapaghanda emotionally, financially, iyon lang. I feel iyong 11 years na pinagsilbi ko sa PTV4, sa taumbayan, parang nawalan ng halaga,” San Gabriel said.
(I won’t force myself on the state-run broadcasting network if they don’t want me anymore. But I hope they could have been more humane and had given me more time to prepare emotionally and financially. I feel that my 11 years of service with PTV4 and the public lost value.)
“I’m a single parent. I have a daughter, ayoko naman mabakante (I don’t want to lose a job),” San Gabriel added.
In an SMS message, GM Apolonio confirmed that he met with Kathy San Gabriel and informed her of the situation a couple of days prior the expiration of her contract.
“The news department has decided to take a different approach in the look and feel of the newscast. Unfortunately, at this time, she may not be included in those plans,” PTV-4 brass said.
However, Apolonio said that he has kept a window open for San Gabriel. “I did tell her that I will give the new direction 3 months to see how it goes and may call her back if necessary.”
Kathy San Gabriel was supposed to do her last anchoring duty on Friday, June 30 – the opportunity she intended to formally say goodbye to her avid viewers and the staff she had worked with for 11 years.
But her producer sent her a text message, asking her not to report for work anymore after a burst of reactions to a post by her former co-host Professor Xiao Chua, leaking her termination from the network.
Kathy San Gabriel said she had been informed that someone from the news department wanted her out of the PTV-4. She confronted the PTV-4 news department head, Edgar Reyes, regarding this as early as April but Reyes denied it.