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House sets hearing on ABS-CBN franchise on May 26

/ 10:58 AM May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is set to tackle bills granting ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise on Tuesday next week, May 26.

According to the agenda of the House committee on legislative franchises, the hearing will be held via videoconferencing at 9:30 a.m.

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that the deliberations of the House committee on legislative franchises will continue even during the lower chamber’s recess.

“They will not stop until they are finished so that no one can say we’re stopping the process or dragging our feet,” Cayetano was quoted as saying by his office.

Cayetano said the committee would most likely hold two to three hearings a week while some witnesses and resource persons would be required to physically appear in the hearings, provided that social distancing and other health protocols are observed.

The House Speaker also said that there are “no more than 10 issues” that will be tackled in the hearings which include ABS-CBN’s alleged violations of tax and labor laws, breaches of the terms and conditions of its previous broadcast privilege, and Filipino ownership and foreign citizenship issues.

“I foresee that the hearings would not go beyond July, and by August, after President Duterte’s SONA (State of the Nation Address), we should be ready to decide,” he said.

During Tuesday’s session, Cayetano bared that the leadership of the lower chamber has decided to drop House Bill No. 6732—which grants ABS-CBN a provisional franchise to operate until October 31, 2020—and instead push through with tackling bill seeking to grant the network a 25-year franchise.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Cayetano, franchise, hearing, House
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