The Philippines: 13 senators back ABS-CBN continued operations

  • Thirteen of 24 senators, including those closely allied with President Rodrigo Duterte, have filed a resolution authorizing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries provisional permit to operate while Congress tackles their franchise renewal.
  • Senate Resolution No. 344 was the latest measure to be filed in the Senate on 4 Mar 20 for the continued operations of ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries like ABS-CBN Convergence InC, Sky Cable Corporation, and Amcara Broadcasting Inc.
  • The resolution was initiated by Senators Pia Cayetano, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Christopher “Bong” Go, Imee Marcos, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Manny Pacquiao, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Nancy Binay.
  • This brings the total number of resolutions and bill to four—all seeking a provisional authority for ABS-CBN while Congress deliberates on its franchise renewal.
  • “The Department of Justice expressed that there is sufficient equitable basis for the NTC to issue a provisional authority to broadcast companies, under the terms and conditions as the NTC shall deem necessary until Congress’ final disposition of their franchise renewal bills,” it said.
  • There have been several bills, seeking to renew the network’s franchise for another 25 years but they remain pending at the House of Representatives. The network’s franchise is set to expire on 4 May 20
  • Until now, however, the House has yet to hold a public hearing on the issue.

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