(Eagle News) – The Legislative Franchise Committee of the House of Representatives has failed to submit a report on a pending bill for the renewal of the legislative franchise of television-radio network ABS-CBN Corporation which expires on March 30 next year.
House Bill 4349 sought to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise which is expiring in nine months. It was filed in the 17th Congress by Nueva Ecija 2nd district representative Micaela Violago, as a follow-up of the previous bill in the 16th Congress filed by Rep. Georgidi Aggabao which also sought to renew the TV network’s franchise but had likewise failed to be approved before adjournment.
HB 4349 was, however, also not approved by the Committee on Legislative Franchise before the 17th Congress adjourned on June 4, 2019.
Because of this, the bill will have to be refiled when the 18th Congress begins in July.
House Bill 4349 has been pending with the House Committee On Legislative Franchise since November 2016.
If ABS-CBN’s franchise is not renewed, it cannot continue operations after March 2020.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in November last year, said he would object to the renewal of the media network’s franchise, recalling an incident during the 2016 presidential campaign wherein the network did not air an ad that he paid for.
He said that the network showed instead a TV spot that criticized him allegedly paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.