Congressional Franchise Reform Part 2

Because Congress has decided to limit its authority to the grant of franchise, it has delimited its exercise of police power over franchisees.

Continuation of Congressional Franchise Reform Part 1

Congress, since the 8th, has not amended or revoked a franchise.  And it has not exercised oversight over the grant that some spectrum lords can just sit on the franchise, wait for the right moment, bundle it with others and flip it thereby merging franchises without any act from Congress.  Once a franchise is granted, its exercise is subject to regulation, in our case, it is subject to the regulation by the National Telecommunication Commission or NTC.

Because Congress has so decided to limit its authority to the grant of franchise, it has delimited its exercise of police power over franchisees on such principles as right to compete, duration of franchise, forfeiture, abandonment, invasion of the franchise, transfer of franchise, among others.

The bad telco services, the Internet crawl, the price regime are but ills of a franchise system that has been model of regulatory capture from Congress to the Executive.  Consumers demanding good and efficient service may not oppose a high pricing regime if only Congress redefines the franchise process and give to the owners of the airwaves their due share.  After all, the spectrum is owned by all Filipinos and if it can't derive decent service at affordable price, the spectrum commons theory should be given more weight than spectrum property rights model.

About the Author
Malou Tiqiua is the Founder/General Manager of PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. A noted political management expert in the Philippines and Asia, she brings over 20 years of professional experience in public, private and the academe combined. Author of the comprehensive book on electoral campaigns in the Philippines, "Campaign Politics", Malou is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a Political Science degree and a Master of Public Administration. She completed her second master's degree (MA in Political Management) from the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University.
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