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‘It may be more costly on the part of the government.’ ABS-CBN frequencies cannot be reassigned to unqualified companies

“It may be more costly on the part of the government. Why? Because you need people to run that on a 24/7 basis.”

It hasn’t been even a week after the ABS-CBN franchise bid got rejected by Congress, but a congressman who voted against the ABS-CBN franchise is immediately proposing to use the frequency of the network.

According to Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, the frequency of ABS-CBN can be used for the new normal learning in August and he hopes that the government could consider it.

But former Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) Rodolfo Salalima warned that this might not be practical for the government.

“It may be more costly on the part of the government. Why? Because you need people to run that on a 24/7 basis.”

Salalima suggested that it would be better if ABS-CBN still operates and the government will just pay for the time to be used for distance learning. He also doubted that the government had the ability to run the broadcast all day for a week.

“Puwede din but it is very costly now because you’re going to keep alive the entire network. Samantalang kung nag-o-operate ngayon ang ABS-CBN, it is ABS-CBN paying for the operations of the network.”

Also, ABS-CBN frequencies cannot be simply reassigned. According to the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, it should be given to the most qualified and not just to anyone.

“The radio frequency spectrum is a scarce public resource that shall be administered in the public interest and… granted to the best qualified.”

After the House legislative franchises committee junked ABS-CBN franchise application via 70-11 vote, CamSur Rep. Villafuerte filed House Resolution No. 1044 with the aim of allowing the government to use vacant television and radio frequencies for remote learning, but netizens aired their dissatisfaction with the proposal.

Inequality and inaccessibility of opportunities such as those pertaining to internet connectivity and possession of a laptop pose a variety of challenges for teachers and learners,” he said.

“The unused frequencies may also be used for information on COVID-19 prevention and control, risk reduction and preparedness,” he added.

Rumors are also circulating that a Chinese company would replace ABS CBN, according to former ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) anchor and Iraq War reporter Waldy Carbonell. He disclosed in a video that he was offered by a Chinese company to become the editor-in-chief of a TV station that would replace ABS-CBN.

“Nais ko pong banggitin ulit na ako po ay kinukuha ng bagong TV station, TV network. Aba’y nilapitan po ako at nagkita po kame sa Villamor Golf and country club.”

Posted by Waldy Carbonell on Sunday, July 12, 2020

Carbonell added that the Chinese business would operate as long as the Palace allowed it to operate. He also has a list of 70 lawmakers who voted YES to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise so that they will not be allowed to join other stakes.


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