8 of 10 Pinoys favor ABS CBN’s return on air, poll survey says

Published January 30, 2021, 2:28 PM

by Ben Rosario

Eight out of ten Filipinos favor erstwhile network giant ABS-CBN to return on air, according to a mobile-app survey conducted recently by WR Numero Research.

The polling and data analytics firm released the results of its recent survey conducted a few days after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sottto III filed a bill that would allow one of the country’s leading media outfit to resume operations with a fresh 25-year legislative franchise from Congress.

House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman followed Sotto’s lead by submitting in the House of Representatives separate bills granting ABS-CBN a legislative franchise.

Two days before WR Numero Research made public the result of its survey, Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Franchise, declared that there is no chance the pending franchise bills can revive ABS-CBN’s bid to get back its television and radio franchise that expired May 2, 2020.

WR Numero Research said it had “sought to gauge the level of Filipino support” towards calls for the network to resume its operations.

Based on the mobile app-based survey conducted from January 11 to 15, eight in 10 respondents favor ABS-CBN return on air.   At least six of those supporting the network stated they “strongly favor” a comeback.

“Only 11 percent oppose the return of the network while eight percent are still unsure,” the polling firm said.

It added that 5,000 respondents participated in the survey.

 “Through a mobile app-based survey with 5,000 respondents nationwide, a quota sampling method based on geographic location, age, sex and income was utilized to gather the data,” WR Numero Research said in a statement.

“With the survey question “Sangayon ka bang maibalik muli ang operasyon ng ABS CBN (Are you in favor of ABS CBN’s operations to return)?” Eight in 10 are in favor of  ABS CBN’s return with six of them saying they strongly favor. Only 11 percent oppose the return of the network, while eight percent are still unsure,” the firm explained.

However, leaders of the Lower House appeared cold to proposals to revive ABS’CBN’s bid to resume operations.

“The ABS-CBN franchise issue was put to rest when the Committee, voting 70-11, rejected the network’s franchise application on July 10, 2020,” said Alvarez.

After the voting, the House panel also approved a motion to lay the ABS CBN bills on the table.

Alvarez explained that the only possibility that the ABS-CBN issue can be taken up again by the  legislative franchise panel is for one  of the 70 solons who rejected the franchise bills to file a motion for reconsideration.

Sotto and the 15 senators supportive of ABS-CBN’s cause may only succeed if the Lower House decides to approve a consolidated franchise measure.

Under the Constitution, grant of legislative franchises have to be initiated in the Lower Chamber.

Alvarez said Thursday that ABS’CBN network’s bid to return to the air waves is no longer feasible and should instead be taken up in the next Congress and under a new president.