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Lumalambot na! Alan Cayetano asks NTC to keep ABS-CBN on air while House sits on renewal bid

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is making good on his promise to work with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to keep ABS-CBN on air even though he’s still not keen to hear the network’s franchise renewal bid.

With Cayetano’s authority, House legislative franchises committee chairman Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez wrote to NTC Wednesday (February 26) to prompt it to grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate starting May 4, 2020, when its franchise expires.

Alvarez said the provisional authority should be valid “until such time that the House of Representatives/Congress has made a decision on its application.”

The House leader also asked NTC to grant temporary operating permits to three other ABS-CBN subsidiaries with pending franchise applications in Congress: ABS-CBN Convergence, Amcara Broadcasting Network and Sky Cable Corp.

Both Alvarez and Cayetano signed the letter addressed to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba.

Cayetano has said the House isn’t in a rush to tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid since it won’t go off air once its franchise expires on May 4, 2020.

Legal experts, however, are debating on the basis for allowing ABS-CBN to continue its operations without a franchise.

Cayetano said the House could hold a hearing on ABS-CBN’s application for a new franchise either in May or August.

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