Franchise Issue of ABS-CBN

Agusan del Norte 1st District
Member for the Minority
Co-Author, HR 639 supporting the renewal of ABS-CBN Franchise
A lawyer by profession | Mobile number 09177292437

It would be a derelict indiscretion for the NTC not to issue the provisional authority to ABS-CBN now and renege on its commitment to Congress, which is the source of the legislative authority on utility franchises.

Our appeal is for the Solicitor General to set aside this legal skirmish for now and for the NTC to make good its commitment to Congress. Since Congress, both the House and the Senate, have already officially expressed an unmistakable intent to grant the network provisional authority, the NTC should, as it has in the past, issue now that provisional authority.

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The country is confronted with an unprecedented crisis and the network is heavily involved not only in disseminating the most important information the public needs to be kept abreast with, but also in raising funds to help our frontliners and the poor and vulnerable families most affected by the pandemic. Their outreach program has raised hundreds of millions of pesos.

It is also most unwise to close down a network of at 11,000 workers at this time of crisis when even no less than the DOLE itself has admitted to scarcity of funds to respond to needs of the hardly hit labor sector. To do so would be to deliberately exacerbate the crisis the country is facing now.

We all can recall that the NTC, in a hearing called by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, committed to issue the necessary provisional authority if a resolution is adopted by the Committee seeking the issuance of such provisional authority pending renewal of the subject franchises.

The network, with its wide reach, has helped government reach out to more corners of the country to inform people of developments as well as policies and directives that local governments, people, and communities are required to comply with. (END)

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