Senate OKs bill on non-expiration of franchises with pending renewal application in Congress | Inquirer News

Senate OKs bill on non-expiration of franchises with pending renewal application in Congress

/ 11:49 AM December 16, 2021
Senate approves proposed changes to contractors’ license law

Facade of the Senate building in Pasay City. (Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Thursday approved a bill seeking the non-expiration of legislative franchises whose renewal application remains pending in Congress.

Voting 21 – 0, senators approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1530, which aims to amend Section 18, Book VII, Chapter 3 of the Revised Administrative Code.

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The Revised Administrative Code provides for the non-expiration of a license “where the licensee has filed a timely and sufficient application for renewal, until a final determination on the application has been made.”

The proposed amendment under the bill, authored by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, expands the provision to also include franchises granted by Congress.

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The amendments, Drilon earlier said, hopes to address the “unfair and iniquitous” closure of a franchisee’s operations due to the issuance of cease and desist orders over the expiration of a franchise with pending renewal.

“It will prevent the repeat of what happened to broadcast network ABS-CBN, a pillar of our media industry and pioneer of many innovations, whose franchise remained in limbo prior to the denial by a House of Representatives panel, in the meantime causing premature loss of 11,000 jobs,” Drilon said in a previous statement.

“It is meant to protect both small and big franchise holders in the event that their franchise is not acted upon immediately,” he added.

ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4, 2020 while waiting for renewal in Congress.

Two months later, the media giant’s application for a 25-year franchise was rejected by the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises.

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TAGS: legislative franchise, Senate, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
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