Author Topic: Bills to Renew ABS-CBNs Franchise Have Been Pending in Congress for Years  (Read 747 times)

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Bills to Renew ABS-CBNs Franchise Have Been Pending in Congress for Years
By PAUL JOHN CAA   |   3 days ago

https://www.esquiremag.ph/politics/news/abs-cbn-s-franchise-renewal-bills-a00289-20200506-lfrm

After ABS-CBN was forced to stop TV and radio broadcasting by the National Telecommunications Commission on Tuesday night, questions turned to how exactly the network was put into this position.

Most people already know that, as a broadcast network, ABS-CBN needs to secure a franchise in order to operate, and this franchise can only be obtained through Congress (Republic Act 3846).

These franchises are typically handed out over a period of 25 years. Prior to 2017, GMA Network, a rival company of ABS-CBN, had operated for 25 years on the basis of RA 7252, which was signed into law in March 1992. After that, President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 10925 on April 2017, effectively allowing GMA Network to keep running and broadcasting for another 25 years.

But what about ABS-CBN?

The Lopez-owned network was last granted a congressional franchise in 1995, after then-President Fidel Ramos signed RA 7966.

The first attempt to renew ABS-CBNs franchise was made by Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao during the 16th Congress in September 2014. House Bill 4997 never progressed beyond the committee level.

Since then, at least a dozen different bills have been filed in the Lower House seeking to renew ABS-CBNs franchise, with the earliest one (after Rep Aggabaos bill) being filed during the 17th Congress in 2018.

Here is a list of all those bills. While a couple are attempts to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN Convergence, formerly known as Multi-Media telephony Inc. (which handles the networks mobile phone service and TV Plus), most are for the extension of ABS-CBN Corporation, the companys main arm.

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adroth

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ABS-CBN in a bind over franchise renewal
By: Gil C. Cabacungan - Reporter / @gcabacunganINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 03:41 AM June 11, 2016

https://business.inquirer.net/210985/abs-cbn-in-a-bind-over-franchise-renewal

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The Inquirer contacted several ABS-CBN executives for comment, but the Lopez-owned broadcast network declined to comment for now.

ABS-CBNs 25-year franchise expires on March 30, 2020.

A member of the House legislative franchise committee, who declined to be named for lack of authority to speak for the panel, said ABS-CBN had sought the renewal six years before the expiration of its franchise because it didnt want to risk having to go through the process under an unfriendly administration.

The committee chair, Marikina Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, did not reply to the Inquirers calls or text messages seeking comment.

Strong opposition

The House member said ABS-CBNs application for renewal of franchise faced strong opposition from cable operators, who had demanded a public hearing.

The same source said ABS-CBNs franchise also lacked support from President Aquinos allies in the House.

The source said Mr. Aquinos allies felt the criticisms against the President were too personal and offensive and went to the point of nitpicking.

Without the franchise committees approval, ABS-CBNs application for renewal could not be tackled in the plenary.

In contrast, another broadcasting company had smooth sailing when it applied for the renewal of its franchise. Aliw Broadcasting Corp., a radio station owned by the late businessman Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, got a 25-year extension in 2015, or two years before the expiration of its franchise.

President Aquino signed Republic Act No. 10790 extending the franchise of Aliw Broadcasting Corp. from April 13, 2017, to April 13, 2042.

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Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/210985/abs-cbn-in-a-bind-over-franchise-renewal#ixzz6Lvd0whit
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