ABS-CBN franchise renewal bill refiled in Congress

  • Nueva Ecija Rep. has refiled ABS-CBN franchise renewal.
  • ABS-CBN franchise renewal is hoping to pass now after refiling.

The bill that aims to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise has been refiled in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Micaela Violago of the 2nd District of Nueva Ecija who initially filed the bill in the 17th Congress in 2016 has refiled the bill one day after the opening of the 18th Congress.

The bill seeks to renew ABS-CBN franchise for another 25 years.

Under the bill, Violago cited ABS-CBN’s accomplishments and its capital requirement to continue operations thus the need for immediate renewal of its franchise.

“In acknowledgment of ABS-CBN’s accomplishments and the capital requirements of its operations, the immediate renewal of its original franchise which expires on March 30, 2020, is recommended to ensure the uninterrupted and improved delivery of its services to the Filipino people,” Violago wrote.

ABS-CBN’s franchise has been stalled in Congress since 2016 primarily because of President Duterte’s public pronouncements against its renewal.

Duterte, on several occassions, has threatened to block the ABS-CBN franchise renewal because of alleged swindling and bias reporting against the government.

But just last week, two Malacanang officials have spoken about the impending franchise renewal of the Kapamilya network.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the passing of the bill is now under Congress.

“But ABS-CBN ang expiration next year pa eh, tsaka Congress naman. Nasa Kongreso ang bola niyan, hindi naman kay Presidente,” he said.

Another Malacanang official, PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar also said that the President has no plans of vetoing the bill if it passes Congress.

“Sa palagay ko naman kapag pumasa na sa Kongreso, okay na. Kapag pumasa sa Kongreso, kasi nasa Kongreso pa eh nasa kanila ang bola sa ngayon. ‘Yun ang palagay ko,” he said.

“Never ko pa narinig kay Presidente na sinabi niya categorically na ‘hindi ko ieextend ng franchise.’ Alam ko sinasabi niya lang ‘yung sama ng loob niya during 2016 elections, na naglagay siya ng pera hindi lumabas yung advertisements. Doon siya nagagalit,” Andanar added.

ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020.

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