House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has assured all ABS-CBN’s employees and loyal viewers that the media giant will continue operating beyond its franchise expiry on May 4, 2020.
In an interview with DZMM, Cayetano reiterated his earlier pronouncements that ABS-CBN will remain on air even if its franchise expires on May 4.
He also said he cannot imagine the Philippines and a world without ABS-CBN because it’s already part of every Filipino’s life.
“Ulitin ko lang yung sinabi ko sa Facebook post ko few month ago ano, sabi ko sa isang banda I want ABS-CBN to be accountable for some issues at sagutin yung ilang issues regarding their franchise. On the other hand I really cannot imagine a Philippines and a world without ABS-CBN diba?” Cayetano explained.
Cayetano also shared that he will meet with Senator Bong Go and other senators to discuss the matter.
“Actually dapat on May 4 or 5 may hearing na. But what we want to,gusto namin ipaabot sa lahat ng viewers ng ABS-CBN, DZMM, sa lahat po ng mga empleyado, sa mga stars, directors, wala pong move na isara ang ABS-CBN.
“In fact nautos na ang House of Representatives sa NTC [National Telecommunication Commission] to grant a permit during this time, but actually I’m going to talk to some senators tomorrow, led by Sen. Bong Go kung anong magandang gawin kung whether it’s a joint resolution or kung paano man na hindi macompromise yung hearing pero may seguridad, ” he said
In the end, Cayetano firmly said that they do not want ABS-CBN to close down whether due to its franchise or the business climate.
“We don’t want to close down ABS-CBN whether it’s because of the franchise or it’s because of business,”
ABS-CBN’s franchise is about to expire on May 4, 2020.
Currently, there are 11 pending bills in Congress that seek to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.
Before the House of Representatives went on their session recess, there was only one hearing held at the Committee on Legislative Franchises wherein they discussed drafting the ground rules for the formal deliberations of the franchise renewal.
But prior to their first hearing, Legislative Committee chair Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez already sent a letter to the NTC on February 27, 2020 asking the commission to grant a provisional authority to operate to ABS-CBN effective on May 4, 2020, “until such time that the House of Representatives/Congress has made a decision on its application.”
The Senate, on the other hand, has passed a resolution on March 4 expressing the “sense of the Senate” that ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiaries should continue with its operations pending the deliberation of their franchise renewal.