By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe expressed concern over job losses in the telecommunications and broadcast sectors from companies whose franchises have expired and are now being issued cease and desist orders (CDO) by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“We don’t like people losing jobs especially at a time like this. We can just imagine the enormous challenge of having to keep a company afloat when it cannot operate,” Poe said at the hearing of the Senate committee on public services that she chairs.
The NTC has been compelled to issue the CDOs to companies with expired franchises since the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that those without franchises cannot operate.
The SC decision stemmed from the ABS-CBN case, with the Office of the Solicitor General ordering the NTC to issue the Lopez company a CDO because of its expired franchise.
In the past, the NTC had issued provisional authorities to companies while Congress deliberated on their franchises.
“Nakakatakot talaga ito. Because of that decision, a lot now are affected. Many lost and stand to lose their jobs,” said Poe.
According to the NTC, it supports Senate Bill No. 1530 authored by Sen. Franklin Drilon which seeks to clarify that inaction or indecision on a franchise application is not necessarily interpreted as a denial.
Both Poe and Drilon underscored that in the case of pending franchise applications, the fault does not lie on the applicants who have complied with the requirements nor Congress with its long list of pressing agendas. (ai/mtvn)