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Kasama ang ABS-CBN? House panel to tackle 50 franchise bills by February – Cayetano

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

BATANGAS CITY – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano hinted that the legislative franchise renewal of broadcast giant ABS-CBN might be tackled by the Lower House starting next month.

Cayetano made the remarks after he recently talked with House committee on legislative franchise chair Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez told him that he is set to hear about 40 franchise renewal bills, pending before his panel by first week of February.

“I talked to Chairman Chicoy and he’s recommending we start, there are about 40-50 franchise bills so first week of February daw,” said Cayetano.

“He will start and kung sino daw ang mga kumpleto ang requirements, he will start the hearings. So, baka we can update you early next week kasi kailan ba first week. February, next week… after next week siguro we’ll start na ng mga hearings,” he added.

Cayetano reiterated that he is “committed to the Filipino people that we will have fair hearings that we will hear issues and also hear the replies.”

“We cannot promise you any decision until we finish the hearings to be fair with everyone,” the Speaker continued.

ABS-CBN needs to secure the passage of their congressional franchise on or before March 30, 2020—the expiration date set by its current franchise under Republic Act No. 7966—or the network will have to cease operating as a broadcast network if Congress fails to act on the franchise bill.

Cayetano stressed that he has already mentioned his issues against the Kapamilya network but he is “willing to listen” to those both and against the franchise renewal of the media conglomerate.

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