CEBU Rep. Raul del Mar has filed a joint resolution extending the franchise of the ABS-CBN Corporation until end of the 18th Congress or June 30, 2022.
In filing House Resolution 28, Rep. del Mar wants to save the television network from shutting down when its franchise expires on March 30 of this year.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises has not yet scheduled any hearing on the 11 pending measures on the franchise renewal. However, its chairman Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, has asked all the stakeholders to submit position papers for the members to review.’
According to Del Mar since there are only 11 days left before the next adjournment, it is impossible for both House and Senate to hear the pending measures and to have additional time to review, assess and determine whether or not ABS-CBN’s franchise shall be renewed.
Congress will have a summer and Lenten break starting March 13 and will resume session on May 6.
“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,” Del Mar stressed.
Republic Act 7966 grants ABS-CBN 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 new technologies in television and radio systems.