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Congress doesn’t have enough time to prioritize ABS-CBN franchise renewal, says Congressman

There is no time for Congress to prioritize ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

House Committee on Legislative Franchises Vice Chairman Rep. Antonio Albano said they didn’t have enough time to prioritize ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills.

In an interview Wednesday, February 12, Albano said the Congress has been very busy the past months with other urgent matters thus don’t have time to calendar the deliberation on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

“Hindi ganu’n kadali mag-schedule ng hearing. Ang daming nangyayari in the past few months that we did not have the time to sit down to see whether we can calendar the ABS-CBN franchise,” he said.

“Alangan naman laktawan namin ang mga nauna para sa ABS-CBN,” he added.

Legislative Franchises Committee Chairman Rep. Franz Alvarez has also stated in an article by News5 that there are still other pending legislative agendas that they have to prioritize aside from ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

Albano, however, said that ABS-CBN can still continue operating even after their franchise expires.

“Hindi naman porke’t sa March 30 mag-lapse ang legislative franchise ng ABS-CBN, automatically they will cease to stop operations, dahil mayroon tayong sinasabing presumption of regularity,” he said.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, one of the authors of ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills. also said that Congress through NTC can give provisional authority to ABS-CBN so they can continue operating.

“There can be a provisional authority that can be authorized by Congress to the National Telecommunications Commission, which has jurisdiction over broadcast media,” said Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, Malacanang spokesman Salvador Panelo advised Congressmen to ignore President Rodrigo Duterte’s personal statements in relation to their legislative work.

In a statement to the reporters, Panelo said any statement of displeasure by the President should be ignored by the Congress with regards to their job in franchise renewal.

ABS-CBN’s franchise will expire in March 2020.

Currently, the 11 bills filed in Congress have yet to be enacted by the Legislative Franchise Committee.

Just recently, the Office of the Solicitor General has also challenged the ABS-CBN franchise through a quo warranto petition at the Supreme Court.



 

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