ARTA order final and executory’: CA orders NTC to issue permit to NOW affiliate

The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant News and Entertainment Network Corp. (Newsnet), an affiliate of businessman Mel Velarde’s NOW Corp. a license to operate pursuant to the directive of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)

In a 33-page decision, Associate Justice Perpetua Susana Atal-Paño of the Special 8th Division cited the Ease of Doing Business Act, where ARTA’s jurisdiction applies to all government offices and agencies that provide services covering business and nonbusiness related transactions which include the NTC.

ARTA’s order dated Feb. 12, 2020 automatically approved Newsnet’s application for the issuance of a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to install, operate, and maintain a local multi-point distribution system (LMDS) to deliver interactive pay television and multimedia services in South Luzon, North Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in the 25.35 GHz 26.35 GHz frequency range with authority to charge rates

“Whether or not the application of Newsnet involves purely administrative or quasi-judicial functions of the NTC, the latter is covered by the Ease of Doing Business Act,” the CA said.

The Appellate Court also ruled that ARTA’s order which deemed automatically approved Newsnet’s application is “already final and executory.”

“Judgements, once final and executory, are incontestable and unappealable,” the CA said.

“As the ARTA order is already final and executory, Newsnet acquired vested rights thereto and is therefore the ministerial duty of the NTC to comply with the aforesaid directive in accordance with the Ease of Doing Business Act,” it noted.

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