Senate President Vicente Sotto III questioned Tuesday (February 25) the necessity of approving a concurrent resolution by the Senate and House of Representatives so ABS-CBN can continue its operations while its application for franchise renewal is pending.
Sotto said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) never asked Congress in the past to approve a concurrent resolution for companies with pending franchise applications.
“I’m just wondering why they want a reso from us when in the previous expired franchises they never asked for one. Why are they placing the burden on us? They should be decisive enough to act,” he told reporters in a text message.
There were many other controversies last year and the years before that re franchises. Yun sa iloilo last year hindi naman kami tinanong eh pinag-aawayan ‘yun,” he said, referring to the tug of war between Panay Electric Company and MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power).
Sotto also mentioned Smart Telecommunications and Globe Telecom as some of the companies which NTC allowed to operate despite pending applications for renewal with Congress.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told senators during the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise Monday (February 24) that a concurrent resolution must be passed by both houses of Congress so NTC can grant the network a provisional permit to operate.
ABS-CBN’s franchise will expire on May 4, 2020.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he will file this week a concurrent resolution to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise until June 30, 2022 until Congress decides on its application for renewal.
According to the Senate’s website, a concurrent resolution “is used for matters affecting the operations of both houses and must be passed in the same form by both of them.” The resolution does not need the President’s signature but also lacks the force of law.