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Calls for the ABS-CBN franchise revival ‘may have to wait until the next Congress’

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 11, 2021 12:37 am

Is there a chance for ABS-CBN to return to free television soon? People may have to wait until the next term, said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. 

In a statement released on Facebook, Velasco said they are currently focused on other predominant measures of the current administration. This is to “ensure that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte fulfills his campaign promise to the Filipino people.” 

Statement of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on the ABS-CBN Franchise #18thCongress #PartnersForChange

Posted by House of Representatives of the Philippines on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"On top of these priority legislation, we would like to see the passage of Bayanihan 3, as well as other economic bills geared toward rebuilding the Philippine economy shattered by the devastating impact of the global pandemic and rebuilding the lives of every Filipino disrupted by the health crisis," he said. 

It can be recalled that earlier this week, the President stressed he "will not allow the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant them the permit to operate.”

“Unless and until the Lopezes pay their taxes… I will ignore your franchise and I will not give them the license to operate. Kalokohan ‘yan. It’s like giving them a prize for committing criminal acts,” he continued.

At the House hearings on the media giant’s franchise in 2020, BIR Assistant Commissioner Manuel Mapoy said ABS-CBN “had been regularly paying its corporate taxes for the past years” and that “there is no outstanding delinquent accounts as we speak."

Majority of the House franchise panel voted to deny the company’s bid for a new franchise in July 2020.

Lawmakers, namely Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, have filed bills seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise for 25 years.

Article thumbnails from ABS-CBN