House to tackle ABS-CBN franchise before end 2019 — Cayetano

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano said the House of Representatives will take up this year the renewal of franchise of television giant ABS-CBN.

Cayetano said the committee will schedule a hearing before the year ends.

However, the House leader did not categorically state if the franchise will be granted.

“Perhaps before the end of the year probably the hearings will start. But we have a little bit of time naman,” Cayetano said.

To date, there are at least five pending bills on the franchise of ABS-CBN which will expire on March 2020.

If Congess does not approve the renewal of its franchise, ABS-CBN will have to close down its radio and television operations.

President Rodrigo Duterte has opposed the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise because of the alleged failure of the company to air his paid political advertisements during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

A bill seeking to renew the franchise was filed in the previous 17th Congress, but it remained pending with the committee.