Media giant ABS-CBN will have to stay off the air as lawmakers voted to reject its application for a franchise.
On Friday, July 10, majority of the House committee on legislative franchises espoused their technical working group's recommendation to reject bills that seek to grant the network a new franchise.
Out of 85 members of the legislative franchises, 70 opted to reject the franchise, 11 dismissed the rejection, 2 inhibited, and 1 abstained.
ABS-CBN has the ability to appeal the House's decision within the next 24 hours, as stated by Palawan 1st District Representative and House legislative franchise panel chair Franz Alvarez. If they do such and file a motion for reconsideration, the House will need to do another hearing before having a ruling on the appeal.
With the heartbreaking decision of the House, the network may be forced to terminate the working services of 11,000 employees workers starting August.
The network had a 25-year franchise until May 4 of this year when the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered a cease and desist against them, putting a stop to their radio and TV operations. Despite showing programs in alternative platforms, the House investigated into its alleged "dummy" operations.
In addition, one month into the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the NTC ordered its subsidiaries Sky Direct and TV Plus channels to shut down.
This was not the first time ABS-CBN was shutdown. It was in 1972 when the network closed during the beginning of late strongman and dictator Ferdinand Marcos' 21-year martial law.
It reopened in 1986 when Marcos was ousted during the People Power Revolution.