House archives ‘moot’ ABS-CBN provisional franchise bill
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has archived the bill seeking to grant ABS-CBN a provisional franchise, which has previously been called “moot and academic.”
Before the suspension of Monday’s session, House Bill No. 6732 was removed from the lower chamber’s calendar of business and was transmitted to the archives.
House Bill No. 6732 was filed by former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies back in May 2020 amid the public clamor for the House to tackle several bills seeking to grant ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise.
The measure seeks to grant a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN effective until October 31, 2020.
The bill was approved on second reading but was later recalled after the House leadership opted to tackle the bills pushing for a 25-year franchise for ABS-CBN instead of a provisional franchise. Following the recall of its approval, the measure was placed under House’s “unfinished business.
On January 27, nearly six months since ABS-CBN’s franchise bid was denied by the House committee on legislative franchises, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor raised a point of order, emphasizing that the committee report on House Bill No. 6732 was still under the plenary’s “unfinished business” and should be resolved.
However, House committee on legislative franchises chairperson Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez said the bill in question was already “moot and academic” since the provisional franchise proposed in the measure was only effective until October 31, 2020.
Alvarez said the ABS-CBN franchise issue was already “put to rest” when 70 members of the legislative franchises panel voted to deny the network’s bid back in July 2020.
The legislative franchises panel chair even said that the ABS-CBN franchise issue is “best left to the next Congress” based on his understanding from the leadership of the lower chamber.
Nonetheless, Defensor said that a supporter of ABS-CBN could move to amend the date stated in the provisional franchise bill.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.