Philippines Broadcaster ABS-CBN has been forced off the air after the Country’s National Telecommunications Commission refused to renew its broadcasting licence.
ABS-CBN, a commercial broadcaster in the Philippines, had been expecting a temporary licence to operate whilst the country’s congress deliberates on its franchise renewal.
The process in the Philippines Congress however, has been held up. Despite the delays, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano had given ABS-CBN assurances that the network wouldn’t be shut down.
Despite this, the Philippines National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order, forcing ABS-CBN off the air.
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 (5 May 2020) 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.
Despite Senate Resolution No. 40, the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises’ letter, the guidance of the Department of Justice, and the sworn statement of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, 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.
ABS-CBN has been providing comprehensive news coverage on the public health crisis and working with local governments and the private sector in providing food and basic goods for those in need through its “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” campaign. To date, it has delivered over P300 million worth of goods for the benefit of over 600,000 families affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
We trust that the government will decide on our franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognizing ABS-CBN’s role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times.
ABS-CBN remains committed to being in the service of the Filipino and we will find ways to continue providing meaningful service to them.