Solon files joint resolution extending ABS-CBN franchise to 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed on Wednesday House Joint Resolution No. 29 seeking to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN for another year until May 4, 2021.
“Both the House of Representatives and the Senate need additional time to review, assess and determine whether or not ABS-CBN shall be granted the renewal of its franchise,” Rodriguez said in the resolution.
“The extension of the current franchise of ABS-CBN for one year will give members of Congress enough time to thoroughly study and debate on the 12 bills filed in the House of Representatives,” the lawmaker added.
Rodriguez filed the resolution after Cebu Rep. Raul Del Mar filed a similar another joint resolution — this one seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise until the end of the 18th Congress in June 2022.
Republic Act No. 3846 requires television and radio broadcasting companies to secure a franchise from the government before they are allowed to operate. It is Congress that will decide whether to extend the franchise of public utilities, including media outfits.
At the Senate hearing last Monday on ABS-CBN’s franchise, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the network’s current franchise would actually expire on May 4 and not on March 30.
Currently, there are 12 bills seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise that are pending before the House of Representatives.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises has formally started the proceedings to tackle the issue by asking stakeholders to submit their position papers.
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