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Rep. Micaela Violago reacts to broadcast companies that are still airing with expired franchises

Nueva Ecija Rep. Micaela Violago suggested a probe on more than 15 broadcast companies continuing to operate beyond the expiry date of their respective franchises.

During a joint hearing of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability on media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise on Wednesday, July 1, Nueva Ecija Rep. Micaela Violago suggested a probe on other broadcast firms that are still operating despite having expired franchises.

Violago said more than 15 broadcasting companies with expired franchises like ABS-CBN were allowed to operate as Congress deliberated on bills regarding their franchise renewals.

“It has been called to my attention that there are more than 15 broadcasting companies that are still [continuing] on air even though their franchises are already expired.”

It can be recalled that the National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN to halt its broadcast operations on television and radio via cease-and-desist order (CDO) after its franchise expired on May 4.

On Tuesday, the NTC released another CDO ordering ABS-CBN to stop the broadcasts of its TV Plus channels in Metro Manila as well as SKY’s satellite broadcast nationwide.

Violago, one of the authors of the ABS-CBN renewal bills, did not identify the broadcast firms but revealed that some of them have been operating with an expired franchise since 2015.

While she was advised to file a House resolution to probe on the matter, the representative of the 2nd district of Nueva Ecija called for a ‘fair’ and transparent process to show the Filipino citizens that Congress favors no broadcasting company.

Therefore, any broadcast firm with an expired franchise shall also halt its operations, like what happened with ABS-CBN.

She said: “They might also be violating [the] labor law or tax evasion law.”

“Sana ay makita din natin ito para maging patas ito sa paningin ng ating sambayanang Pilipino nang wala tayong kinikilingan na ano man na broadcasting company. Para makita rin natin kung ito ba talaga ay kalakaran na sa industriya ng broadcasting,” she went on.

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