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President Rodrigo Duterte signs laws extending franchise of 3 media companies

  • President Duterte signed laws renewing the franchises of 3 media companies.
  • ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal is still pending in Congress.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the laws renewing the franchises of three broadcasting companies.

On August 8, Duterte gave his signature of approval to three companies to operate for another 25 years.

The three media companies that were given franchise renewal include Solid North Broadcasting System, Inc. (Republic Act 11366), Mareco Broadcasting Network, Inc. (RA 11367), and the Radio Audience Developers Integrated Organization, Inc. (RA 11368).

Solid North Broadcasting System, Inc. or SBS is a Vigan, Ilocos Sur based broadcasting company which is the province’s and its neighboring areas’ main source of news and information.

Mareco Broadcasting Network, Inc. or MBNI operates five Crossover FM stations in Manila, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, and Baguio. It was established in 1963.

Radio Audience Developers Integrated Organization or RADIO, meanwhile, is only on its first franchise renewal having been granted the franchise to construct, install, operate, and maintain radio stations in 1995.

The three companies are the latest broadcasting companies to get franchise renewals from the government.

Last April 2019, TV5 and CBCP Network automatically got their franchises renewed after theor respective bills lapsed into laws.

The laws that covered the renewal of TV5 and CBCP was released by Malacanang in July 2019, without the signature of the President and bears a stamp certifying it has lapsed into law. Malacanang didn’t give any explanation as to why the President didn’t sign the bills and let it lapse into law.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN is still waiting for their franchise to be renewed.

On July 23, 2019, Nueva Ecija 2nd District Rep. Micaela Violago refiled the bill that will extend ABS-CBN’s franchise for another 25 years.

President Rodrigo Duterte shares a light moment with Eugenio Lopez III, chairman and chief executive officer of ABS-CBN, during a courtesy call in Malacañan’s Music Room on October 24. (King Rodriguez, Malacanang Photo)

The Kapamilya network’s franchise renewal bill has been stalled in Congress since 2016. It was not enacted allegedly due to President Duterte’s public pronouncements against it.

But lately, 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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