It’s official— Congress, particularly the Committee on Legislative Franchises has denied the application of media giant ABS-CBN for another 25 year franchise.
Committee chair, Palawan Congressman Franz Alvarez reported that an overwhelming 70 lawmakers adopted the recommendation of a Technical Working Committee (TWC) denying the franchise application “to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and broadcasting solutions”
Only eleven lawmakers voted in favor of granting ABS-CBN 2 an extension of its franchise.
Of the 85 lawmakers who intimated their desire to express their views on the franchise issue, only 46 are regular members and 39 ex-officio members. Such an overwhelming vote of 70 when it only needs 43 votes for a majority one, says much about the political nature of this issue.
The TWG proposal also recommended a thorough investigation on the practice of issuance of Philippine Depository Receipts or PDR’s for industries requiring to be wholly owned and managed by Filipinos.
The report also recommended another House probe to look upon “various digital platforms offerings of broadcast entities in order to protect the public interests and ensure compliance with legislative franchises.”