Palanca award-winning writer Ogie Rosa slammed the government for allowing the franchise of DITO Telecommunity and denying ABS-CBN Network a fresh franchise.
He noted that the issues raised for the Kapamilya network that led to its denied franchise are also existing in DITO telecom but the government chose to approve the application of DITO because the owner, Dennis Uy, is an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Rosa aired his frustrations in his Twitter account saying, “Galit na galit sila kasi may foreign ownership daw ang Rappler at ABS-CBN, at hindi raw Pilipino si Gabby Lopez. Pero sobrang excited sila sa DITO Telecommunity na 40% owned ng China. Kakaiba!”
Galit na galit sila kasi may foreign ownership daw ang Rappler at ABS-CBN, at hindi raw Pilipino si Gabby Lopez.
Pero sobrang excited sila sa DITO Telecommunity na 40% owned ng China.
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) September 9, 2020
One of the issues discussed in the congressional hearings of the ABS-CBN franchise bid was the citizenship of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez being a Filipino-American businessman. The House Committee grilled Lopez because the 1987 Constitution limits mass media ownership to Filipinos only.
Rosa questioned the decision of the government in approving the franchise application of DITO Telecommunity knowing that it is 40% owned by China.
He claimed that the House of Representatives gave preferential treatment to Dennis Uy’s company because of the swift passing of its franchise bid.
It can be remembered that Kapamilya personalities also weighed in on the issue of Gabby Lopez’s citizenship. They slammed the main oppositor of the ABS-CBN franchise bills, Sagip Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, after he bullied the chairman emeritus by spending so much time questioning his citizenship at the House hearing on the network’s franchise bid.
Rosa also mentioned that the government was only quick to move when China companies and projects were involved. He stated that DITO Telecommunity was given a franchise in less than 3 months after its application.
Wala pang 3 mos nabigyan na ng prangkisa ang DITO Telecommunity (40% owned by China Tel). Tapos last Aug 26, naglabas na ng Admin Order para pabilisin ang Kaliwa Dam construction (funded by China, using Chinese construction firms).
Kapag China, MABILIS ANG AKSYON ano po?
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) September 4, 2020
“Wala pang 3 mos nabigyan na ng prangkisa ang DITO Telecommunity (40% owned by China Tel). Tapos last Aug 26, naglabas na ng Admin Order para pabilisin ang Kaliwa Dam construction (funded by China, using Chinese construction firms). Kapag China, MABILIS ANG AKSYON ano po?” he wrote.
He added that having China-owned DITO cell sites in military camps are risky.
Seriously? China-owned DITO cell sites allowed in military camps? Isn't this risky? https://t.co/ViDZ6Nal9z
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) September 8, 2020
“Seriously? China-owned DITO cell sites allowed in military camps? Isn’t this risky?” he wrote.
LGBT rights and same-sex marriage advocate Atty. Jesus Falcis also raised another argument when he called out the House for the allowed contractual workforce in the DITO franchise, comparing it to the ill-fated ABS-CBN franchise bid.
Falcis highlighted Sec. 15 of House Bill No. 7332, which states “the grantee shall ensure that at least sixty percent (60%) of its employees are regular employees and in no case shall the percentage of contractual employees, job orders, casuals, and independent contractors combined, exceed forty percent (40%) of its total workforce.”
He mentioned the issue raised in the ABS-CBN hearings regarding the extensive hiring of contractual workers at the network. He said that the approval of DITO’s franchise was in deviation from the committee’s decision to reject the ABS-CBN’s franchise bid because DITO Telco was given the benefit of having 40% of its employees as contractual workers.
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He pointed out how neither Globe’s (R.A. 7229 and 7372) nor Smart’s (R.A. 7294, amended by R.A. 10926) legislative franchises have this provision.
Ogie Rosa is a writer that won a Palanca award which is a set of literary awards for Filipino writers. It is the country’s highest literary honor in terms of prestige.