The franchise of ABS-CBN can no longer be resurrected in the House of Representatives as its renewal was rejected with finality, also taking into account that no lawmaker appealed for a consideration.
House legislative franchises committee Chairman Rep. Franz Alvarez of Palawan said there was no lawmaker who filed for a reconsideration for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, meaning the decision on the matters is final.
“Thus the committee decision has become final,” Alvarez said, referring to the House panel’s July 2020 vote to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise.
He added that the issue regarding broadcast giant ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal is best left to the next Congress.
Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, committee chair, made the statement after Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor asked the House plenary to take up an unresolved bill granting ABS-CBN a provisional franchise.
“Based on my understanding from the House leadership, the ABS-CBN franchise issue is best left to the next Congress,” Alvarez said in a statement.
Alvarez said the network’s franchise issue was put to rest when his committee rejected the network’s franchise application with a 70-11 vote in July 2020.
“Under the rules, anyone of the 70 House members who voted against the franchise application could file a motion for reconsideration on behalf of ABS-CBN to challenge the decision of the Committee. Unfortunately, there was none, thus the Committee decision has become final,” he said.
Alvarez further said House Bill 6732, the measure in question, is already “moot and academic” because the proposed provisional franchise to be granted to ABS-CBN would only be effective until October 31, 2020.
On Jan. 5, Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto filed House Bill No. 8298 seeking to renew for another 25 years ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise.
To recall, Congress was unable to renew the network’s congressional franchise before its expiration date on May 4, 2020.
ABS-CBN, upon the directive of the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) shutdown order, ceased its broadcast operations on May 5, 2020. SOVEREIGNPH