The Franchise of ABS-CBN Has Expired – Now What?

The continuous rally of the franchise of ABS-CBN’s franchise expiry left many people, especially fans dumbfounded. But just yesterday, the franchise of ABS-CBN has expired – and it’s official.

The franchise of ABS-CBN has expired
This image was taken from ABS-CBN News | news.abs-cbn.com

But with its franchise officially ending – how will it look like for the network? Would all their workers have no jobs? Would the franchise and its people be left without anything?

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Pending in the House of Representatives

Alan Peter Cayetano, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that it’s not going to be closed down. In fact, he said that there was not an action that bids the network to stop its operations.

Furthermore, the franchise renewal is still in a pending status in the House of Representatives. So even if the franchise of ABS-CBN has expired; they can still continue to operate.

The Speaker gave the network the assurance that they would not be stopping the operations. With that, they cited their order to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to give the authority to operate while they are waiting for the decision in the lower chamber.

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A letter to the NTC

The plea of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was seen through a letter sent to NTC. It was duly sent in combination with Palawan Representative Franz Alvarez, containing information to grant ABS-CBN the authority to operate until the Congress decides on it.

And yesterday, this grant was approved – ABS-CBN will still be allowed to operate as Gamaliel Cordoba, Commissioner of the NTC, said that they’ll duly follow the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) advice to allow the franchise to operate while waiting for the Congress’s decision.

Cayetano said that the Congress believes that they can provide a few months of operations to the network. Since everything is under hearings and settlements, it should be well provided.

Ang tingin ng Kongreso, if we have the authority to give a broadcast company 25 years to operate, why can’t we give them a few months to operate while we’re in the middle of the hearings?”

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In Translation: The Congress believes that if we have the authority to give a broadcast company 25 years to operate, then why can’t we give them a few months to operate while we’re in the middle of the hearings?

He then adds that their sole basis is the Constitution in all of this. That with the Constitution, they’ll have the right to grant franchises.

Ang basis namin yung Constitution (Our basis is the Constitution). The constitutional right for us to grant franchises.”

More urgent matters

Why do you think is the reason why it’s taking so long for the franchise of the ABS-CBN to be settled? Now that the franchise of ABS-CBN has expired – would there be faster means of this being discussed and talked about?

Cayetano addressed that the reason is not negligence; it’s really just because of the fact that there are far more important measures needed to be discussed and talked about than the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise.

Read: Bill of ABS-CBN Franchise Renewal, Refiled in House

Did you know that the earliest bill that is seeking for the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise was filed back in July of 2019? In total, there are 11 bills and all of which are remaining pending before the House Committee.

What are “more important matters?”

There actually are quite a few “more important matters” which include:

  • Creation of the Department for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs);
  • The creation of the Department of Water;
  • Strengthening of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign
  • Improvement of the national health preparedness
  • Improvement of the K to 12 programs; and
  • Creation of the department of Disaster Management;

With the franchise of ABS-CBN going to a full closure, what do you think will be their tomorrow? Would there be difficulties in setting up what’s needed? Would the House of Representatives find evidence of them not coping with the requirements they’re being asked for?

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Even before sitting in office, President Rodrigo Duterte has continually pushed his critics toward ABS-CBN. He reports that the network did not show his campaign even if it was already paid; that’s what sparked the 2018 statement that he’ll be blocking the renewal of the network’s franchise.

But things started to get brighter when Carlo Katigbak, the CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation, publicly apologized for airing the 2016 campaign that was anti-Duterte; this was, of course paid for by the opposing candidate/s.

Could the franchise renewal be pushed through in the following months? Would it see a better decision?

Source/s: CNN Philippines | The Philippine Daily Inquirer

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