9 senators back new resolution
MANILA (UPDATE) – A new concurrent resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to allow ABS-CBN Corp to operate while Congress is still finalizing its franchise renewal bid was filed in the Senate on Monday.
There is "an urgent need" for the NTC should issue a provisional authority for ABS-CBN Corp "to operate under the terms of its existing franchise pending final determination of the renewal" of its license to operate, according to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Lito Lapid, Manny Pacquiao, Grace Poe and Joel Villanueva authored the resolution.
"The non-renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise will result in the loss of thousands of jobs as the network has over 11,000 employees," the resolution read.
"The removal of a market leader such as ABS-CBN would have a significant impact, not only on competition within the broadcasting industry, but also on the economy as a whole," it said.
The resolution noted that GMA 7, TV5 and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines "were allowed to operate under the terms of their existing franchise even after its lapse and pending renewal."
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier filed a similar concurrent resolution, and a separate joint resolution seeking to extend ABS-CBN's franchise until December 31, 2022.
A concurrent resolution expresses the sentiments of a legislative chamber, while a joint resolution needs the approval of both houses of Congress before it can be transmitted to Malacañang for the President's approval.
Since 2014, several bills seeking to give ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year license were filed in the House of Representatives, but the chamber's franchise committee has yet to hear the measures.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said that ABS-CBN franchise bills will be tackled after Congress resumes sessions in May, saying these measures are "not that urgent."