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Drilon seeks to extend ABS-CBN franchise to 2022

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday filed a joint resolution that seeks to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation up to the end of 2022.

Drilon made the move as he cited the need for more time for both houses of Congress to review the application for renewal of the broadcast network’s franchise.

He filed Senate Joint Resolution No. 11 amid uncertainties on the fate of the network when its 25-year franchise expires on March 30, 2020.

Drilon stressed that both the Senate and the House of Representatives (HoR) need more time to review, assess and determine whether or not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation should be granted the renewal of its franchise.

He noted that there are only 12 session days left before the next adjournment of Congress scheduled on March 14, 2020.

Drilon thus seeks to extend the validity of the franchise of ABS-CBN until December 31, 2022 in order to give Congress enough time to study the various bills seeking the renewal of the franchise granted to the network.

“On March 30, 2020, more than 11,000 families will go home jobless and millions of viewers will be affected if we do not act on this resolution immediately, I therefore urge for the immediate passage of this resolution,” Drilon said.

Republic Act 7966, enacted into law on March 30, 1995, grants the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation a franchise “to construct, operate and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, television and radio broadcasting stations in and throughout the country.”

SJR 11 also states that 12 bills filed in the HoR seeking to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN are pending in the House Committee on Legislative Franchises.

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