MANILA, Philippines – On a regular Tuesday night, what families would expect is a dose of teleserye after the TV Patrol News. However, that has changed today. Today, people come to face with the grey static that is aired when the Channel 2 – ABS-CBN – is on.
After the expiration of the ABS-CBN broadcast franchise yesterday, the National Telecommunications Communication was quick to execute. The said agency immediately ordered for the shutdown of the said broadcast company.
The May 5 order stated that the ABS-CBN should cease operations in both radio and television nationwide. They wrote that the station had an “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law.”
ABS-CBN stated that, “millions of Filipinos will lose their source of news and entertainment when ABS-CBN is ordered to go off-air on TV and radio tonight (May 5) when people need crucial and timely information as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This is in compliance with the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) today that prohibits ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations effective immediately,” ABS-CBN added.
A legislative matter
NTC cited the contents of the Republic Act No. 3846 or the Radio Control Law. It stated that all “radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station” should obtain a franchise from the congress of the Philippines. This is the case for commercial firms or companies.
On May 5, the said network no longer has a hold of the said requirement, leading to their closure.
Dismayed, ABS-CBN stated, “Despite Senate Resolution No. 40, the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises’ letter, the guidance of the Department of Justics, and the sworn statement of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Codoba, the NTC did not grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate while its franchise renewal remains pending in congress.”
“In an interview with DZMM last week, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano even gave an assurance that there is no move to shut down the network,” they called out.
The network, in their statement, still remains hopeful that the government will act accordingly on their franchise.