This coming March 2020, ABS-CBN’s franchise will be up for renewal and House Bill 4349 which seeks to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise for another 25 years is still pending at the committee level in Congress.
Recently, The Court of Appeals approved the broadcast network of ABS-CBN Corporation, and has agreed to pay P152.44 million as part of a compromise agreement on its tax deficiency case.
And the Bureau of Internal Revenue has accepted ABS-CBN’s offer to pay the total “judicial compromise amount.”
“The BIR has accepted the amount equivalent to 40 percent of the basic tax assessed for deficiency income tax, value-added tax, and documentary stamp tax and the amount equivalent to 100 percent of the basic tax assessed for deficiency expanded withholding tax, compensation withholding tax, and final withholding tax,” the CTA said.
ABS-CBN chief financial officer Aldren Cerrado requested for cooperation, and through the CTA did not state the total dues of ABS-CBN, as what the corporation agreed to pay represented its alleged tax deficiency for 2009.
To put an end to the trial, the agreement was granted for ABS-CBN to resolve their differences, noting the resolution effectively renders judgment on the case.
“After careful scrutiny of the documents submitted by the parties in support of the judicial compromise, the court finds the same in order and in compliance with the established laws, rules, and regulations. Hence, the court approves the same,” the CTA said.
The ABS-CBN really tried its best to renew the license of the network, but there are still a lot of factors to consider. One of these factors is the threat of the President in blocking their franchise renewal.
On April of 2017 as can be recalled, President Duterte threatened the network that he will block their franchise renewal.
“Yung franchise ninyo, matatapos. But let me ask you questions first. Kasi ako talaga mag-object na marenew kayo. Alam mo bakit? Magnanakaw kayo. Estapador. Ginawa ninyo sa amin, marami kami,” the President said.
And during the May 2016 presidential election, the President also criticized the network for favoring Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s political advertisement against him and did not air his paid political ads which he had already paid for. It seems that the President had his eye on the network.
With the issue and concern that ABS-CBN network is facing, could they possibly renew their contract by March 2020? Will the President continue his plan in blocking their franchise renewal application? To date, ABS-CBN’s status as to their franchise grant is still pending.