The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued an order Wednesday, September 9 recalling the frequencies assigned to ABS-CBN, citing the absence of a legislative franchise granted to the network.
“The denial of [ABS-CBN’s] franchise renewal application by Congress… lead to no other conclusion except that [ABS-CBN] had already lost the privilege of installing, operating, and maintaining radio broadcasting stations in the country,” NTC said in its decision dated Wednesday but released to the public Thursday, September 10.
With the order, the government is taking back 85 frequencies which were previously given to the media giant pursuant to its 25-year congressional franchise.
NTC listed down for recalling the frequencies of ABS-CBN’s five AM stations, 18 FM stations, and 52 TV stations nationwide.
The radio spectrum, divided into frequencies which make broadcasting possible, is a limited resource. In the Philippines, broadcasters must first obtain a franchise from Congress before they are allowed to operate. NTC, on the other hand, is responsible for managing the radio spectrum in the country.
Aside from the recall, NTC revoked all existing provisional authorities and certificates of public convenience granted to ABS-CBN and has also dismissed the company’s pending applications and petitions before the Commission.
ABS-CBN had already shut down its radio and regional TV stations last August, following the denial of its franchise application in the House of Representatives. Thousands of its employees have been retrenched as a result.