President Rodrigo Duterte has eased up his foot on the neck of ABS-CBN Corp.
After holding the first deliberations on ABS-CBN’s bid to renew its franchise, House Committee on Legislative Franchise chair Franz Alvarez directed the National Telecommunications Commission chief Gamaliel Cordoba to grant the media giant a provisional authority to operate until such time that Congress has made a decision on its application.
Alvarez also asked the same provisional authority be granted to its subsidiaries or affiliates: ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., Sky Cable Corp. and Amcara Broadcasting Network
Alvarez was reportedly ordered by President Duterte not to hold any hearing for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal after publicly declaring he wants to shut it down.
But with ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak’s apology, Duterte has softened his stand.
Alvarez urged NTC “to include in the respective provisional authorities terms and conditions that the agency deems appropriate to protect public interest consistent with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.”
He also asked interested parties to send their positions for or against ABS-CBN’s application within 60 days from February 24.
ABS-CBN’s franchise will expire on March 4 while ABS-Convergence’s license will end on March 17.