Rep. Lito Atienza warned the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) not to cave in to the pressure by some lawmakers at the House of Representatives to shut down SKYcable, citing cable TV companies do not need to secure a legislative franchise in order to operate.
“Hindi dumadaan sa prangkisa yung cable at SKYcable, NTC yan. So I’m also warning NTC, huwag kayong padadala sa mga pananakot nitong ilang congressmen,” Atienza said in an online public discussion on the ABS-CBN franchise.
Atienza was reacting to Rep. Rodante Marcoleta’s revelation that NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba is seeking the advice of Solicitor General Jose Calida on legal strategy to halt the operations of SKYcable.
Marcoleta earlier threatened to cite Cordoba with contempt for upholding Executive Order 205, which was signed by former Pres. Cory Aquino allowing cable operators to exist without the need to seek a legislative franchise but only permits and licenses from the NTC.
Apart from calling on the NTC to remain firm on upholding the validity of EO 205, Atienza also assailed the lawmakers for the pushing for the closure of SKYcable, which is not within its jurisdiction.
“You are going to use the power that you will perceive is yours. ‘Pag inalis pa ninyo ang SKYcable, baka hindi na maintindihan ng lahat ‘yan. Maniniwala na sila na wala nang pupuntahan ito,” he added.
Meanwhile, a nationwide group of cable TV operators has also voiced concern over government’s moves questioning the legality of EO 205 in order to close SKYcable.
“Kapag may mangyari sa SKYcable malamang mangyayari na rin sa aming lahat,” said Philippine Cable Telecommunications Association (PCTA) president Joel Dabao in a TV interview,.
Dabao warned that such move would not be beneficial for the consuming public, who rely on cable TV for information, entertainment, and education. He confirmed that there are over 1,000 cable operators in the country, 300 of which are members of the PCTA.