Firms cannot benefit from their franchises unless they settled their obligations with the government, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.
“It’s a fad now to have these kind of shows kung ano-ano but yet abandoning their duty to government. And you ask protection from government in your business. In return, you pay your taxes correctly. You do not pay your taxes correctly, eh iyan ang nangyari sa inyo,” the President said in a public address.
“So there will be no opening. I assure you na lahat ng franchise ‘yan hindi i-implement — hindi ko i-implement ‘yan hanggang they settle their full accounts with government.”
Companies can have “a thousand franchise” but they won’t see the light of day “until you come to government with clean hands,” he said.
The franchise issue is not a personal thing to him, President Duterte said, adding, however, that as the chief executive, he has duty to ensure that laws are followed especially with firms paying their dues.
And before opening, the President said he wants to have a “very short serious talk” with companies.
“Do not compel me to do something which is not lawful. Just because you give them a franchise, it does not follow that all of their misdeeds in the past are condoned and forgiven,” he added.
It was not clear which company the President was referring to. But his announcement came after Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto filed a bill seeking the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise. A similar measure was filed in the Senate to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.
In May last year, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a closure order to the broadcast giant after its franchise expired. PND