ABS-CBN franchise bill still pending before House panel

  • The House of Representatives has not yet tackled on whether it will grant ABS-CBN an extension of its franchise for 25 more years. 
  • Its franchise is set to expire on March 2020.
  • President Rodrigo Duterte previously called to veto the television network’s franchise for its allegedly biased reporting against his administration’s war on drugs.

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers have not yet decided on the fate of the franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN before the 18th Congress had its first congressional break. 

The House Committee on Legislative Franchise has not tackled the proposal of ABS-CBN to extend its franchise operation for another 25 years since the 18th Congress convened last August.

Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas had filed House Bill (HB) 4305 which is still pending in the committee, like the five other measures backing ABS-CBN’s extension.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Micaela Violago, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles , Pangasinan Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas, and Parañaque Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting have earlier filed their versions of the bill granting the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation “a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain their broadcasting stations in the Philippines for another 25 years.”

“ABS-CBN is the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate in terms of revenue, operating income, net income, assets, equity, market capitalization and number of employees,” Santos-Recto said in her explanatory note. 

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ABS CBN

Santos-Recto, who enjoys the title “Star for all seasons” for her various roles in movies tied with the network, noted that ABS-CBN “has remained steadfast” in delivering quality programs to Filipinos.

“ABS-CBN has remained steadfast in its commitment to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible by delivering their quality core programs closer to our countrymen by taking advantage of emerging broadcast technologies,” she added.

Measures pushing for ABS-CBN extension had been pending in the committee level since 2016. The network’s franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020.

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President Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly called to veto the television network’s franchise for its allegedly biased reporting against his administration’s war on drugs and for failing to air his campaign advertisements in the 2016 polls.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar previously said that “the ball is already with Congress” as Duterte will not likely interfere with the legislature.

Photos from ABS-CBN


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