ABS-CBN to accept provisional permit if it's the 'quickest way' to get back on air | Inquirer News

ABS-CBN to accept provisional permit if it’s the ‘quickest way’ to get back on air

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:39 PM May 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN is ready to accept a provisional authority if it is the “quickest way” to get back on air.

ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak said this Tuesday as congressmen debate on whether to grant the network a provisional franchise, or a new one.


The House of Representatives had already approved on second reading a bill granting ABS-CBN  a provisional permit until October 2020, but the approval was later recalled because of legal questions.


But at the hearing of the Senate committee on public services, Katigbak said they would accept a provisional permit with the hopes Congress would later consider granting them another 25-year franchise.

“At this point in time, our primary concern is to try and get back on the air as quickly as possible and we leave it to Congress… to decide what’s the best way for us to legally return to the air. But it’s critical from  a financial standpoint and from an employee welfare’s standpoint that we go back on air as quickly as possible,” Katigbak said.

“If a provisional franchise until October is the quickest way to get us back on air then we accept that with the hopes of course that we continue to have hearings to grant us a 25-year franchise,” he said

“We need to do this so that we can again start earning revenues so that we can continue paying the salaries of our employees,” he added.

Katigbak earlier said they might be forced to start retrenching employees by August if they fail to get a new franchise as it already lapsed on May  4.

In the same hearing, however, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile reiterated his warning to Congress against granting ABS-CBN a provisional authority, saying a legislative action must have a “certain degree of permanence.”


Enrile, though, acknowledged that even if the House approves a provisional permit to ABS-CBN, it may still be amended when the proposal is transmitted to the Senate.

“When the bill passes the House of Representatives and it gets into the jurisdiction of the Senate, the Senate can overturn it,” he said.

“It (Senate) can do anything it wants about it. You can extend it for five months, or one-year period to 50 years. You just comply with the 50-year limitation of the Constitution and it will be constitutional,” he pointed out.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, franchise, Laws, Media, Senate

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