NTC to issue provisional authority to ABS-CBN
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is one of the resource persons at the Senate inquiry into bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal and the network’s supposed violations held February 24, 2020.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo
NTC to issue provisional authority to ABS-CBN
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - March 10, 2020 - 2:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — National Telecommunications Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba at a hearing on Tuesday said that the commission intended to issue provisional authority to broadcast giant ABS-CBN despite concerns that this would only further exacerbate the network's plethora of legal troubles. 

This came as the House Legislative Franchise Committee, chaired by Rep. Franz Alvarez (Palawan), tackled ABS-CBN franchise renewal at Tuesday afternoon's hearing. 

Provisional authority allows the broadcast giant to continue operating while their franchise renewal is still pending in Congress. 

ABS-CBN Corporation's current legislative franchise, which was approved by virtue of Republic Act 7966, expires on May 4, 2020.

On February 26, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Alvarez wrote and asked NTC to issue provisional authority to the network to operate “from May 4, 2020 until such time that the Congress has made a decision on its application.”

The broadcast company has been in hot water after government lawyers on February 10 accused the network of “unlawfully exercising their legislative franchises under Republic Act No. 7966 and Republic Act No. 8332” by, among other allegations, operating the Kapamilya Box Office pay-per-view service.

Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay) said that provisional authority was just “alternative relief” that puts ABS-CBN “into a quagmire of legal problems,” saying that this did not alleviate the need to have their franchise renewed. 

A separate Senate hearing, whose legitimacy Cayetano called into question, found that the broadcast giant complied with all laws and regulations. 

Within the lower chamber, ranking lawmakers have gone on record to say that they were asked to withdraw support for a resolution urging the House Committee on Legislative Franchises to act on bills for the renewal of the network's franchise.

READ: House reps asked to withdraw support for ABS-CBN resolution, solon says

Others have said that hearings for the bill were being stalled because they did not have clearance from Cayetano, who has admitted he held personal complaints against the network. 

This is despite Cayetano's consistent promise that the franchise renewal would be given a fair and objective hearing in the Duterte-dominated House. 

Duterte has repeatedly said that he will see that ABS-CBN's franchise will not be extended, although the Palace has also said that the president, whose words often translate into policy, will not meddle in the affairs of Congress. — with report from Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 6, 2020 - 2:27pm

ABS-CBN Corp. stopped broadcasting on its TV and radio stations on May 5, 2020 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order. The network's franchise had lapsed on May 4 without action by the House of Representatives.

October 6, 2020 - 2:27pm

Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp. is returning to free TV starting Saturday after striking a deal with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc. 

The network announces that "some entertainment shows and movies" it produces will be aired in the "rebranded" A2Z channel 11, formerly Zoe TV, the free TV channel of Jesus Is Lord Church led and founded by Eddie Villanueva.

"A2Z channel 11 will be seen on analog TV in Metro Manila and nearby provinces," the network says.

September 24, 2020 - 11:13am

Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III tenders his resignation as chairman emeritus and director of ABS-CBN Corporation due to personal reasons.

Lopez also steps down as director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corporation, Sky Vision Corporation, Sky Cable Corporation, First Philippine Holdings Corporation, First Gen Corporation and Rockwell Land Corporation.

"He expressed his appreciation for the trust of the stockholders as well as to his co-directors and senior management for the privilege of having served with them over the years," ABS CBN Head of Corporate Communications Kane Errol Choa says in a statement.

September 12, 2020 - 11:56am

A group of teachers denounces anew the shutting down of ABS-CBN network, with its education platform—Knowledge Channel—just like what ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. did 48 years ago.

"In the spirit of upholding press freedom and the people's right to information, and the media's burgeoning role in education amid the pandemic, ACT supports the Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. in its bid to extend its services and resources to the Department of Education as the public education system shifts to remote learning in response to the pandemic," says the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines in a statement.

September 10, 2020 - 4:35pm

The National Telecommunications Commission recalls the frequencies assigned to broadcast giant ABS-CBN following the non-renewal of its legislative franchise.

In its decision released Thursday, the NTC points out that ABS-CBN does not have a valid franchise to continue operating television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide.

"Indubitably, the denial of Respondent's franchise renewal application in Congress, coupled with the denial of Respondent's Petition by the Supreme Court, lead to no other conclusion except that Respondent had already lost the privilege of installing, operating, and maintaining radio broadcasting stations in the country," the NTC says.

August 30, 2020 - 2:27pm

Broadcast journalist Ted Failon is leaving ABS-CBN after 30 years, the network says Sunday, adding his final appearances on "TV Patrol" and "Failon Ngayon sa TeleRadyo" will be on August 31.

"The closure of ABS-CBN's radio broadcast operations led to his painful decision and we respect it. We admire Ted's talent, passion, and commitment to radio as his most effective medium in serving the Filipino people," the network also says.

Last Friday, 12 regional "TV Patrol" programs went off the air also due to a House panel's decision in July to junk ABS-CBN's application for a new franchise.

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