Big majority of Filipinos think Congress should grant ABS-CBN a franchise

A huge majority of Filipinos agreed that Congress should renew ABS-CBN's franchise, pollster Social Weather Stations said Saturday, July 11.

The survey was conducted from July 3 to 6, as the House of Representatives held marathon hearings on the franchise application of ABS-CBN. The network's franchise lapsed on May 4, prompting the National Telecommunications Commission to order it to stop its operations. (READ: ABS-CBN goes off-air after NTC order)

On Friday, July 10, the House panel on legislative franchises rejected ABS-CBN's application. 

SWS said that at least 75% of the 1,555 adult Filipinos surveyed agreed to the question: "Congress should renew the franchise of ABS-CBN so that it can broadcast its programs again."

Only 13% of those surveyed said that ABS-CBN should not be given a new franchise, while 10% were still undecided.

Majority of Filipinos or 56% also agreed that denying the media giant a franchise was a "major blow to press freedom." Some 27% of those surveyed thought otherwise.

SWS said that ABS-CBN was highly trusted in previous polls. Of the 11 surveys conducted from October 2000 to December 2018, net trust in ABS-CBN was either "excellent" or "very good."

The July 3 to 6 survey found that those supporting the network were the highest in Mindanao (80%), followed by Visayas (77%), Balance Luzon (74), and then Metro Manila (69%).

The support was higher in rural areas (81%) too, than those from the urban areas (70%).

The survey was conducted using phones and computer-assisted telephone interviews with 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide: 306 in the National Capital Region, 451 in Balance Luzon or Luzon outside of Metro Manila, 388 in Visayas, and 410 in Mindanao.

The nationwide survey has a sampling error of ±2% for national figures and ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

During the survey period, House leaders had aired personal gripes against the network. A July 6 franchise hearing extended to over 10 hours. ABS-CBN denied accusations of political bias.

Senior Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla wanted ABS-CBN to be investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation, for its alleged "deception" during hearings. 

Remulla had also accused ABS-CBN of lying about Amcara Broadcasting Network, which he claimed was the network's dummy– Rappler.com

Here are more stories about the denial of the ABC-CBN franchise:

 

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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