Sep 10, 2020

A lot of controversy has plagued ABS-CBN in the past few years, but this might actually be the end (for now). After their bid for franchise renewal died on the congress floor, the National Telecommunications Commision (NTC) is now ordering the recall of all the frequencies formerly held by the network giant. 

In the order released on Wednesday, Sept. 9, NTC mandated the immediate recall of all the radio and television frequencies from ABS-CBN. Although the network may have been off the airwaves since May 5, they were still able to keep their free TV and radio frequencies (albeit without the content). 


The order read, “Indubitably, the denial of Respondent’s franchise renewal application by 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.”

It also added, “Consequentially, absent a valid legislative franchise, the recall of the frequencies assigned to Respondent is warranted.”

So the question is, what happens to all of ABS-CBN’s old frequencies?

Deputy speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. proposed that the frequencies be used to aid in distance learning during the pandemic. 

As the author of House Resolution No. 1044, he suggests that the frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN be used for training, instruction, and dissemination of important information to lessen COVID-19’s blow to the country’s educational system. 

But ultimately, what happens to the frequencies of the long embattled network is up to the NTC. In an interview, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stated, “I think it can be — it can now be awarded by the NTC. That’s the function of the NTC and we leave it to the NTC what will happen to the frequency.”

As of now, the future of these frequencies is still cloudy. They can be used to help students in far flung areas of the Philippines, or it could ultimately be optioned off by the NTC to any and all interested parties. For now, we’ll just have to watch and wait. 


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TAGS: ABS-CBN ABS-CBN shutdown broadcast frequencies congress national telecommunications commission nolisoliph NTC Senate