Interesting Details With The ABS-CBN Franchise Hearing

Probably the most talked about topic for Filipinos right now is not the COVID-19 epidemic, nor the the latest K-Drama but is about the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN which has now reached the committee tables of the Philippine Senate. Led by the chairpeerson Senator Grace Poe, the Senate committee on public services called on parties seeking broadcast renewals including executives and legal consels of the Kapamilya network.

It was attended by top executives like Carlo Katigbak, Cory Vidanes, and key personnel that will be able to answer questions regarding technicalities and clear up speculations that were also connected with the renewal proceedings. Representatives from government departments like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revnue (BIR), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to address any violations or other issues regarding the franchise conditions.

Bringing Artists And Journalists Together

It is seen throughout the hearing that along with the executives are the artists and journalists that come in support of the network. This includes The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) together with the Director’s Guild of the Philippines (DGPI) which is vocal in showing support and also lends their voice in the hearing. Director Joel Lamangan also gave a heartfelt speech about the contribution of ABS-CBN to the Filipino people and culture. Journalists were also are glued with the hearing as it also talks about press freedom.

Public Appearance of Carlo Katigbak

Though for quite some time now, many people does not know that the current President of the ABS-CBN is Carlo Katigbak which is very low-key despite his position in the country. He along with other executives weree able to answer the questions hurled at them by the committee. They represent all of the employees, the contractors, and partners which  will be affected if the network would cease its operations.

When Will The Franchise Really Expire?
There was a new clarification about the franchise when the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the real date of the expiration is not March 30, but rather May 4. Along with the consultation of the National Telecommunication Committee (NTC) that based on technicality, the network can still operate even beyond that date.

All Violation Speculations Answered

The most interesting part of the hearing is when the network faces the questions regarding its compliance with the franchise conditions as well as to answer speculations such as unpaid taxes, foreign ownership, labor concerns, and the political ads which is probably made President Duterte upset during the election period. BIR confirms it is cleared in its tax records and remains one of the top corporate taxpayers in the country.

SEC clears the network on the technicality of its stakeholders and other ownership details. DOLE shares that the network is working in settling all labor concerns from the past and have not seen any new violations. Even with speculation of the citizenship of Gabby Lopez, which claims to be not Filipino during his chairmanship was also cleared and ready to be proven by the network. Thus all speculations that have been circulating everywhere was completely answered with confidence.

The Senate hearing also sees a possible change of heart among the senators which were not really in support of the network. Among them were Senator Dela Rosa and Senatro Bong Go has made statements after the hearing. Go expressed that he will talk to the president regarding the clarifications made during the hearing. Dela Rosa also expressed the clarifications made during the inquiry. Though short, it can also be felt that Senator Pacquiao and Senator Lapid's support for ABS.

With all speculations now answered, it gave a boost of confidence for the network that was facing shutdown due to issues which threatens not only jobs, but also information, news, entertainment, and other content which has built the company for decades. 

Though regarding the quo warranto filed by the Solicitor General at the Supreme Court works on a different process. Statements made on that floor showed overwhelming answers which could be somehow connected to some of the points raised on the complaint. And things could become more complicated soon as the franchise bill will be deliberated by both congress and the Senate. 

After the grueling hours of the hearing, they were able to also accommodate provincial media outlets who were also working for their own franchise renewal. I did appreciate the time and effort made by the committee regarding the issue which finally disperse rumors and move on the actual process given that all are cleared up.

You can also read for more details about the franchise issues and disputes with
 the link below:

No comments:

Post a Comment