MANILA, Philippines — Talents, managers, employees and their relatives on Tuesday heaved a big sigh of relief as the broadcast network giant ABS-CBN may continue operations until 2022 even if it fails to renew its franchise upon expiration on March 30.
So said House legislative franchises committee vice chairman and Isabela Rep. Tonypet Albano saying expiration of the embattled network’s franchise on March 30, 2020 do not necessarily mean it would automatically shut down even if it cannot secure a new franchise from Congress before April.
Albano explained that under the rules, legislative franchise holders may continue to operate with an expired franchise provided it was able to file its application for renewal within the reglementary period.
“May I remind the public that even if the ABS-CBN franchise expires on March 30, it doesn’t mean that ABS-CBN will close completely because the rule of thumb… is that while 18th Congress is still ongoing they can continue its services (pending renewal of application),” Albano said.
Ten different renewal applications had been filed by ABS-CBN within the 18th Congress and so Albano explained the network may continue to operate until the end of this Congress or until 2022.
“We do plan to deliberate on it ASAP… We assure the public later on that we will hear the case because the committee chairman, and the leadership of the House in particular, has been closely monitoring the events but we also have a lot of other issues to tackle before the ABS-CBN franchise,” Albano said.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III is allegedly seeking an audience with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to discuss issues surrounding the franchise renewal as senators continue to prod the Lower House to act on the long-pending application of the network.
He said even with the quo warranto case filed by Office of the Solicitor General Jose Calida, Congress can still proceed with acting on the application for franchise renewal. (IAMIGO/sovereignph.com)