MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Monday said he wants to give ABS-CBN Corp. a fresh 25-year franchise, but not through a provisional authority as it could “open the floodgates to exploitation and corruption.”
At least 10 senators have authored 3 resolutions urging the National Telecommunications Commission to grant ABS-CBN a temporary permit to operate while Congress continues to delibrate on its franchise renewal bid.
While NTC had been allowing networks to broadcast as long as there are franchise bills pending in Congress, the practice would “open the floodgates to exploitation and corruption, for the rest of the people who are applying for a permit.”
“Pag binuksan mo yan, sabihin nila tatanggalin namin [ang franchise ng 3 taon], so taon-taon mag bibigay ka [ng lagay]?” he said.
“So why don’t we let the people responsible to rule on the franchise—such as the House of Representatives—do their job?” he said, noting that he will vote for it should it reach the Senate.
Several bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise have languished in the House of Representatives since 2014.
The House has yet to act on ABS-CBN’s franchise less than 6 session days before Congress goes on a 2-month break, prompting senators to look for other legislative solutions to save some 11,000 jobs.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said ABS-CBN’s renewal bid was “not that urgent” and that it will be scheduled when session resumes in May.
ABS-CBN’s franchise expires in May 4, 2020.