Abante says NTC ‘a waste of people’s money’; wants P1 budget for it in 2021
MANILA, Philippines — House Minority leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. is eyeing to propose a P1 budget for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) once deliberations for the 2021 national budget starts.
During an online press briefing on Tuesday, Abante said he feels that NTC is “a waste of people’s money” as many of their past actions were “not proper.”
“I feel that the NTC is a waste of people’s money, napakaraming ginawa nila (there were many actions they did) in the past which I believe is not proper,” he said.
“Kung itutuloy ito as (If this would go on to) budget deliberation, I’m going to propose P1 budget for NTC,” Abante added.
The lawmaker issued the remark days following NTC’s cease and desist order against media network giant ABS-CBN after its franchise expired on May 4. Complying with the NTC directive, ABS-CBN went off the air at 7:52 p.m. on May 5.
Abante earlier filed House Bill 6701, which seeks to abolish NTC and transfer its powers to the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
In his bill, Abante said NTC is one of the “most inept and useless agencies whose only relevance lies in being another model for sheer wastage of taxpayer money.”
He added that the NTC order against ABS-CBN is a “slap in the face of Congress and an outright act of defiance.”
Abante noted that the House panel on legislative franchises earlier urged NTC to grant a provisional authority to ABS-CBN while it deliberates on the broadcast firm’s franchise renewal. The Senate also passed a resolution urging NTC to issue the provisional authority that should have been effective on May 4.
“This brazen act of the NTC is open defiance and an insult to Congress. The NTC should be abolished and its functions and powers transferred to DICT where it can be better exercised and hopefully be more responsive to the needs of our changing times,” the lawmaker said.
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