Alvarez says granting ABS-CBN franchise ‘privilege, not a right’
MANILA, Philippines — Palawan 1st district Rep. Franz Alvarez, chair of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, said allowing television broadcast giant to continue its operations is a “privilege”, not a “right,” noting that they will undertake a fair and objective review on the franchise renewal.
“The advice of Speaker Alan (Peter Cayetano) to us was to make sure that we would be always fair and impartial in reviewing the application of ABS-CBN, or the application of any other public utility, for that matter. At the same time it is Congress’ duty to accept complaints and hear issues brought up in any contain or objection,” Alvarez said in a statement on Saturday.
“But we should all be reminded that under the law, the grant of a franchise is not a right, but a privilege. This is why we have to hear all sides and find out if ABS-CBN violated the provisions of its franchise,” he added.
Alvarez also said violation of press freedom is not relevant to granting the franchise of ABS-CBN, one of the current leading media firms in the country.
“The issue involves the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN. There is no attempt to muzzle or control the media here so do not try to make this a press freedom issue when it is not,” Alvarez said.
The media giant’s franchise is expected to expire in March 2020 ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate is set to expire in March 2020. Republic Act No. 3846 said radio and television broadcast stations must seek franchise renewal from Congress before continuing its operations.
Edited by MUF
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