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Buti nang sigurado! Poe urges lawmakers to put in writing ABS-CBN’s authority to operate with expired franchise

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Senator Grace Poe on Sunday urged fellow lawmakers to ensure that broadcasting network ABS-CBN would continue to operate while Congress is still deliberating on its franchise extension.

She made the appeal to protect the over 11,000 workers from displacement. “Kahit sabihin pa nila na pwede naman ‘yan i-extend hanggang 2022, maganda siguro kung in writing.”

“O, kaya at least verbally sabihin ng Kongreso, ‘We commit to give ABS-CBN through the National Telecommunications Commission a temporary permit to operate’ kasi hindi naman ‘yan nakasulat sa batas. ‘Yan ay kortesiya lamang na ibinibigay ng Kongreso at NTC,” Poe said.

“Hindi biro kung matigil ang operasyon dahil alam naman natin 11,000 trabaho ang apektado rito,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services.

She earlier filed Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 322 directing the Senate public services panel to conduct an inquiry to determine ABS-CBN’s compliance to the terms of its franchise.

Poe said the hearings would aid the senators in making judgment when the franchise bill is transmitted to them for their deliberation.

The House of Representatives has yet to begin deliberations on the application. House leaders, however, assured that ABS-CBN could continue operating until 2022 or the end of the 18th Congress while its franchise is being discussed.

Poe said the Senate inquiry would focus on the network’s alleged violations. All parties will be given an opportunity to air their side for the public to know the real issue.

“Walang perpekto. Ako ang isip ko diyan ay bukas dahil maraming nag-a-apply ng prangkisa, wala namang perpekto,” she stressed.

“Walang duda na may serbisyong ibinibigay ang network ng ABS-CBN pero ito timbangin natin—ang serbisyo ba na ibinibigay ng ABS-CBN ay akma o kayang isantabi ang mga kakulangan nito.” Poe said.

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