Del Mar: Extend ABS-CBN franchise
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - February 20, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City North District Representative Raul del Mar is pushing for a joint resolution extending the franchise of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation until the end of the 18th Congress on June 30, 2022.

Del Mar filed last Tuesday proposed House Joint Resolution No. 28 for the House of Representatives and the Senate in Congress to extend the 25-year franchise that will end on March 30, 2020.

Republic Act No. 7966 grants ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation a franchise to “construct, install, operate and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, television and radio broadcasting stations in and throughout the Philippines, through microwave, satellite, or whatever means including the use of any new technologies in television and radio systems, with the corresponding technological auxiliaries of facilities, special broadcast and other broadcast distribution services and relay stations.”

Enacted into law on March 30, 1995, RA No. 7966 provides that the franchise of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation shall be for a term of 25 years from its effectivity.

There are at least bills filed in the House of Representatives seeking to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation pending before the Committee on Legislative Franchises.

The Solicitor-General on February 10, 2020 had filed a quo warranto petition at the Supreme Court to forfeit the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence, for alleged violations of the terms and conditions of its franchise.

Senator Grace Poe on February 12, 2020 filed proposed Senate Resolution No. 322 inquiring, in aid of legislation, the operation of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise.

“Since there are only eleven (11) session days left before the next adjournment of Congress on 14 March 2020, both the House of Representatives and the Senate need additional time to review, assess and determine whether or not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation shall be granted the renewal of its franchise,” read del Mar’s proposed resolution.

Del Mar said this will enable Congress to discharge its constitutional duty of protecting public interest in the grant and repeal of franchises, without trampling on rights to due process and infringing on free press and free speech.  GAN (FREEMAN)

ABS-CBN RAUL DEL MAR
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