Recto bill seeks renewal of ABS-CBN franchise for another 25 years
MANILA, Philippines — A bill renewing the franchise granted to ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation for another 25 years has been filed at the Senate.
Senate Bill No. 981, filed last Wednesday, was initiated by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.
ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020.
In the bill, Recto recognized ABS-CBN as the country’s largest entertainment and media conglomerate in terms of revenue, operating income, net income, assets, equity, market capitalization, and number of employees.
“Despite the growing popularity of social media, television still remains as a preferred mass medium in our provinces and other far-flung areas,” the bill read.
“ABS-CBN has remained steadfast in its commitment to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible by delivering their quality core programs closer to our countrymen by taking advantage of emerging broadcast technologies,” it added.
A similar measure had been filed at the House of Representatives but remains pending since 2016.
The measure was revived in the lower chamber when the 18th Congress opened last July.
This, despite repeated pronouncements from President Rodrigo Duterte that he would block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, accusing it of not airing his campaign ad that was already paid for during the 2016 presidential election.
“Kalakas ng loob… mukhang marami kami sila Chiz Escudero, tanggap nang tanggap. Niloko ninyo kami, marami hindi lang ako kaya kayo hindi ko kayo palusutin,” Duterte said in a speech in Novemberlast year.
“‘Yung franchise ninyo matatapos na, but let me ask you [the] questions first, kasi ako talagang mag-object na ma-renew kayo,”the President added. /muf
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