MANILA, Philippines – The senators told the National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, to think twice about the closure order issued after the network’s franchise expired. During a senate hearing, 13 lawmakers backed ABS-CBN up in their rally to go back on track.
On May 4, the Philippine broadcasting landscape got shaken, when it ceased its more than 30 years of airtime. The NTC ordered to stop all broadcast through radio and television because they lacked a “congressional franchise required by law.”
Expressing their disagreement, thirteen senators filed Senate Resolution No. 395. They stated that the document was “to urge the (NTC) to reconsider its cease and desist order against ABS-CBN Corporation.”
The lawmakers reasoned out using the precedents of other networks that were allowed to operate despite expired franchises.
“Now more than ever, in the middle of the biggest public health crisis of our generation, the Filipino people deserve access to up-to-date news.” the resolution read.
The senators cited the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Broadcast and the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp (PT&T).
They emphasized that news should remain balanced for its veracity. Solons urged that the news should be from “free and unfettered media.”
The following senators signed the said resolution: Senator Risa Hontiveros, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Sherwin Gatchalian, Leila de Lima, Lito Lapid, Manny Pacquiao, Francis Pangilinan, and Joel Villanueva.
The Binding Stipulations
The ABS-CBN company employs about 13,000 workers. The senators expressed that this drop-out of workers “could not be more ill-timed given the looming economic recession.”
Legislators also stipulated that among NTC memorandum, expired franchises within the enhanced community quarantine are immediately granted extension.
They stated, “this suggests that there is enough basis in policy and in practice to allow ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiaries and/or affiliates to continue their operations pending the renewal of their respective franchises.”
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