ABS-CBN franchise renewal pushed

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    THE Makati Business Club yesterday pushed for the renewal of ABS-CBN Corp.’s franchise in the interest of press freedom and public service.

    MBC, in a statement, said the media giant plays an important role in the “whole-of-nation fight” against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    “Aside from protecting press freedom, keeping ABS-CBN on the air will preserve one of the public’s biggest sources of news and information,” the group said.

    MBC also noted the importance of ABS-CBN as a major platform for businesses to advertise their goods and services, which it said would help revive the economy, preserve jobs in those businesses, and increase taxes the government needs for public services.

    “Equal treatment of all companies — especially by regulators, prosecutors, and lawmakers — will signal that rule of law prevailed, encouraging foreign and local investors at a time when we most need their help to create new jobs,” MBC said.
    Deliberations on ABS-CBN’s franchise resume today July 6.

    The National Telecommunications Commission shut down ABS-CBN’s radio and TV broadcast operations on May 5 and issued on June 30 another cease-and-desist order preventing ABS-digital broadcast on its TVplus boxes, and Sky’s direct-to-home satellite broadcast.

    ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise ended on May 4.