Drilon files concurrent resolution seeking provisional authority for ABS-CBN

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Drilon files concurrent resolution seeking provisional authority for ABS-CBN
This February 24, 2020 shows ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak and ABS-CBN COO Cory Vidanes.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed a concurrent resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission to grant ABS-CBN Corp. a provisional authority to continue its operations after the lapse of its legislative franchise.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 “expresses the sense of Congress that ABS-CBN Corp. should be allowed to operate under the terms of its existing franchise pending final determination of the renewal of its franchise by the 18th Congress and for the NTC to issue ABS-CBN Corp. the appropriate provisional authority.”

This concurrent resolution is different from a joint resolution that Drilon earlier filed seeking to extend the franchise of the country’s top broadcaster until the end of 2022.

While a joint resolution has the force and effect of a law if approved by both houses of Congress and the president, a concurrent resolution is used for matters affecting the operations of both chambers and must be passed in the same form by both of them.

A concurrent resolution is also used to fix the time of adjournment of a Congress and to express the “sense of Congress” on an issue.

Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu) earlier this week filed Joint Resolution 28 seeking to extend the validity of ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise until July 30, 2022.

Last week, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Congress may direct the NTC to issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN through a concurrent resolution.

ABS-CBN was granted a 25-year legislative franchise in 1995. This is due to expire on May 4, Guevarra said.

The House of Representatives has not acted on bills seeking to renew the franchise of the network.

Drilon, in his resolution, said only eight session days remain before the lapse of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

“Both the Senate and the House of Representatives need additional time to review and determine whether or not ABS-CBN Corp. shall be granted the renewal of its franchise,” he said.

Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Committee on Public Services, told ABS-CBN News Channel that an extension of franchise by the NTC is a “cure” should legislators lack time to review pending franchise bills.


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