House notice for NTC to let ABS-CBN operate ‘sufficient’ — Cayetano
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said a notice from the House committee on legislative franchises for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to allow media giant ABS-CBN to operate with an expired franchise pending its franchise renewal “is more than sufficient.”
Cayetano made the remark after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a separate interview at the Senate, that Congress, through a concurrent resolution, may authorize NTC to issue a provisional authority to keep ABS-CBN on air once its franchise expires in May.
“Sa aming pananaw (The way we see it), a notice from our committee that we are starting the proceeding and they (ABS-CBN) should be allowed to broadcast while we are hearing it is more than sufficient,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said there have been precedents of television and radio broadcasting companies with pending renewal applications being allowed to continue operations even with lapsed franchises.
In contrast, 11 pending bills for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal have been languishing before the lower chamber.
“We’ve said from the start that the reason why we think it is important but not urgent, dahil di naman tayo papayag na there will be a single minute na hindi magbo-broaccast ang ABS-CBN,” he said.
“Ang problema, maraming gustong umepal. Maraming gustong maging part ng solution,” he added.
Cayetano said that the lower chamber would stand by its earlier pronouncement that ABS-CBN can continue its operations if its franchise expires before lawmaker decide on its bid for renewal.
“So yung sinabi naming hindi magsasara yan ang paninidigan namin, kung kailangang physically ako mag-on ng transmitter o pumunta doon,” Cayetano said, adding that House committee on legislative franchises chair and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez would do the same.
During the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise, Guevarra said the granting of legislative franchises falls on the power vested in Congress.
Alvarez on Monday asked parties involved in ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal—both for and against the renewal—to submit their position paper on the issue, formally beginning the House proceeding on the matter.
Edited by EDV
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