House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco shut down speculation Thursday (February 11) that ABS-CBN will be given a new franchise before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022.
Velasco said in a statement that calls to grant ABS-CBN a fresh franchise “will have to wait until the next Congress.”
The Speaker cited Congress’ tight schedule in passing bills ahead of the 2022 elections as the reason why lawmakers can no longer discuss ABS-CBN’s franchise application.
“With a little over a year until the 2022 elections, the House of Representatives is bent on finishing the remaining priority measures of this Administration to ensure that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte fulfills his campaign promise to the Filipino people,” he said.
Velasco’s statement came at the heels of Duterte’s declaration on February 8 that he will not allow ABS-CBN to operate even if it gets a new franchise from Congress.
The House legislative franchises committee denied ABS-CBN’s franchise application in July 2020. Since then, however, at least one bill has been filed in the Senate and House to grant the network a fresh franchise.
ABS-CBN currently has blocktime arrangements with Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s ZOE TV network and TV5.