Solon calls for investigation into ABS-CBN-A2Z Channel 11 blocktime deal

by Arniel C. Serato
Oct 23, 2020
Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod Party List on ABS-CBN-A2Z blocktime agreement: "Let the NTC do the study or investigation on that matter. Then, NTC will recommend it to Congress, to the committee on franchise, and the committee will act on it."
PHOTO/S: Jerome Ascano

Nanawagan ang isang mambabatas sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) at sa Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) na imbestigahan ang blocktime agreement ng ABS-CBN at A2Z Channel 11.

Nawala sa free-to-air television ang ABS-CBN dahil sa pagbasura ng Kongreso sa franchise application nito noong July 10.

Makalipas ang ilang buwan, pumasok ang Kapamilya network sa isang blocktime agreement sa ZOE Broadcasting Network, na pag-aari ni Jesus Is Lord (JIL) founder at Deputy Speaker Brother Eddie Villanueva.

Nagbagong bihis ang ZOE TV, at pinangalanan na itong A2Z Channel 11 nang i-relaunch ito noong October 10.

Mapapansing dalawang religious programs na lamang ni Bro. Eddie ang mapapanood sa istasyon—isa sa umaga at isa sa gabi—at ang lahat na ay mula sa Kapamilya network.

Ayon sa bagong halal na Minority Leader, Congressman Joseph Stephen Paduano ng Abang Lingkod Party List, maaring may legal issue daw ang nasabing blocktime agreement ng dalawang istasyon.

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Sa ulat ng Philippine Star ngayong araw, October 23, sinabi ng mambabatas na: "There is a legal issue about it. Let’s just see what will happen there."

Maaari rin daw magsulong ang Kongreso ng congressional inquiry ukol sa usapin.

Aniya, "Let the NTC do the study or investigation on that matter.

"Then, NTC will recommend it to Congress, to the committee on franchise, and the committee will act on it.

"We also have the responsibility and the right to investigate it.”

TAX-EXEMPT

Bukod sa legal na usapin, maaring may tax issue rin sa nasabing deal agreement.

Ang ZOE TV daw kasi ay may "tax-exempt status" dahil isa itong religious channel.

Dito naungkat ni Paduano ang isa sa mga naging hadlang upang hindi makakuha ng bagong prangkisa ang ABS-CBN.

Dagdag pa niya, "Once you’re a commercial TV or network, you have to pay your taxes.

"That’s my issue with ABS-CBN.

"The profits of ABS-CBN go to Big Dipper (because they are accredited by Philippine Economic Zone Authority).

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"That’s tax evasion. There’s really an issue there. You have to pay your taxes.

"The BIR should check on it and the NTC (too).

"If you’re a commercial entity you have to pay your taxes."

BIG DIPPER ISSUE

Base pagdinig sa Kongreso, nakitaan ang ABS-CBN ng diumano'y "tax avoidance scheme" sa pamamagitan ng subsidiary nito, ang Big Dipper Digital Content and Design, Inc.

Entitled ang Big Dipper sa minimum five percent tax na singil sa kumpanya dahil nakarehistro ito sa PEZA o Philippine Economic Zone Authority. Aprubado ng PEZA dahil mayroon itong produkto o serbisyo na ine-export sa ibang bansa.

Nanindigan ang ABS-CBN na nagbabayad ng tamang buwis ang kanilang kumpanya, at patunay daw nito ang tax clearance mula sa BIR.

Pero kinuwestiyon ng Kongreso kung bakit ang tanging kliyente lamang ng ABS-CBN ay mga subsidiary na pag-aari rin ng network, at walang ibang non-ABS-CBN client sa ibang bansa para maging PEZA-accredited ito.

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Ibinasura ng Kongreso noong nakaraang July 10, 2020 dahil sa marami daw nitong paglabag sa dating prangkisa.

Pitumpong (70) kongresista ang bumoto ng “Yes” sa rekomendasyon ng Technical Working Group (TWV) ng House Committee on Legislative Franchises na huwag aprubahan ang aplikasyon ng network para sa panibagong prangkisa.

Labing-isa lamang ang bumoto ng “No” na kontra sa TWG resolution.

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Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod Party List on ABS-CBN-A2Z blocktime agreement: "Let the NTC do the study or investigation on that matter. Then, NTC will recommend it to Congress, to the committee on franchise, and the committee will act on it."
PHOTO/S: Jerome Ascano
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