The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading bills granting fresh 25-year franchises to Smart Communications Inc. and GMA Network Inc.
House Bill 4631, which renewed GMA Network's franchise, was approved in 229-0 vote.
House Bill 4637 on the other hand grants a new franchise to Smart. The vote was 221-10.
The bills will be deliberated upon at the Senate. Should these be approved by both Houses, the bills will be sent to President Duterte for his approval.
Public Utilities are not allowed to operate by the 1987 Constitution unless they have a franchise from Congress as these use state owned frequencies. -- reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN New