‘We need a strong voice’: Binay backs bill to grant franchise to ABS-CBN
MANILA, Philippines — “Higit sa mga palabas na anime (More than anime shows), we need a strong voice that can reach even the farthest household with news and information that matter.”
Senator Nancy Binay said this Tuesday as she expressed support to Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s proposed measure seeking to revive the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN Corp., which has been ordered shut in May last year.
“I share my colleagues’ position in the Senate to support ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal dahil higit na kailangan ngayon ng taumbayan ang totoo at tamang balita sa gitna ng mga isyu ng pandemya at pagbabakuna (because the people need now more than ever true and correct news amid the issues of the pandemic and vaccination),” said Binay in a statement.
Binay said many Filipinos lacked information when a series of typhoons hit the country in 2020, especially those residing in remote barangays and islands that relied primarily on radio and TV.
“We could have saved more lives if people were well-informed about the heavy rains and typhoons,” Binay said.
“Sad to say, government and other networks fell short in bridging the information gap,” she added.
On Monday, Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 1967, which seeks the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid was denied by the House committee on legislative franchises back in July 2019.
Under the 1987 Constitution, private bills—such as granting and renewal of franchises—”shall originate exclusively” from the House of Representatives. This means that the lower chamber has to approve ABS-CBN’s franchise bid first before the upper chamber can make any significant progress on the matter.
Later Monday, Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto said she will soon file before the House of Representatives a bill that will give ABS-CBN another 25-year franchise. Zac Sarao, Trainee
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