ABS-CBN shutdown to add 2,600 COVID-19 cases — Salceda
MANILA, Philippines — The shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN will add 2,600 more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said Wednesday.
Salceda said that based on a study they made, the closure of ABS-CBN will have a “direct impact” on the state of the coronavirus crisis in the country.
“We have an entire model, essentially this thing will cost us 2,600 more infections. In short, it has a direct impact on something that we’re trying to deal with so it is an existential threat to the country,” Salceda told ANC.
“COVID-19 is an existential threat and the [National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)] behavior essentially is aggravating this threat to our national health and national security,” he added.
The model, Salceda said, was based on the time Filipinos spend watching TV, how many people get their information through television channels, and based on the market share of ABS-CBN, among others.
“Para sa karamihan po sa amin sa Kongreso, lalong-lalo na sa oras na ito, yung problema po talaga ng NTC dahil talagang nakakasira talaga ng national strategy,” Salceda said.
As of May 5, there are 9,684 COVID-19 cases in the country, with the death toll at 637.
The NTC on Tuesday ordered ABS-CBN to stop broadcast operations with the expiration of its franchise to operate on May 4.
In an order dated May 5, the NTC directed ABS-CBN to stop operating its television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid congressional franchise required by law.”
NTC cited Republic Act No. 3846 or the Radio Control Law which states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or a radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.”
With the expiration of Republic Act. No 7966, which granted ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise to operate its TV and radio broadcasting stations, NTC said ABS-CBN “no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by Act No. 3846.
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