Bill of ABS-CBN Franchise Renewal, Refiled in House

ABS-CBN has been standing for longer than many of us now. Being founded back in 1946, its content really is a pleasure to all of us. ABS-CBN does not only bring us the latest tidbits of news and updates that are both happening in the Philippines and in international countries, but it also brings us entertainment and the time of leisure anyone wishes to have.

ABS-CBN franchise renewal bill, refiled in House
This image was taken from ABS-CBN News | news.abs-cbn.com

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Back in 2016, the case of the ABS-CBN franchise renewal has been left pending. This resulted in their near-forced shutdown if their contract is not renewed by March 2020. However, the corporation got support from the Congress.

Micaela Violago, Nueva Ecija 2nd District Rep., granted and refiled a bill that would help with the ABS-CBN franchise renewal in the 18th Congress. The contract will expire or mature on March 30th, 2020.

In the filing of House Bill No. 676 or the ABS-CBN franchise renewal, Violago said that due to the accomplishments done by ABS-CBN, it is just right for them to be granted another 25 years of having the right to operate.

In acknowledgement of ABS-CBN’s accomplishments and the capital requirements of its operations, the immediate renewal of its original franchise which expires on March 30, 2020, is recommended to ensure the uninterrupted and improved delivery of its services to the Filipino people.”

Why is there a commotion upon the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise?

As we all know, controversies revolving around the government is a big hit for our dear President. As a matter of fact, President Rodrigo Duterte launched multiple threats to shut down and veto bills renewing these franchises.

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ABS-CBN is not the only agency that received these threats. Included in these agencies are Rappler and The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Because of throwing shade to the Duterte Administration, President Duterte did not second guess to impose threats to them.

However, in April of 2017, ABS-CBN was accused by our dear President of “swindling” him. Why? Because during the 2016 Presidential elections campaign, the network did not air his paid political advertisements.

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The first (1st) public threat done by Duterte came out a few days later after the rival network of ABS-CBN, GMA Network, had their franchise renewed—after President Duterte signed the bill into law.

On the other hand, Martin Andanar, Presidential Communications Secretary, said that he believes that President Duterte no longer wishes to veto the ABS-CBN franchise renewal once the bill has been approved in the Congress.

Sa palagay ko naman kapag pumasa na sa Kongreso, okay na — kapag pumasa sa Kongreso — kasi nasa Kongreso pa eh nasa kanila ang bola sa ngayon. ‘Yun ang palagay ko.”

In Translation: In my own opinion, when the bill passes the Congress without any interruption, it’s already fine. But that is if it passes to Congress. The reason why they still are in control of it is that it still is in Congress.

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Furthermore, Andanar added that the President just became furious when controversies about his Administration came out. But the direct words that he won’t be extending the franchise hasn’t been spoken.

Never ko pang narinig kay Presidente na sinabi niya categorically na hindi ko i-extend ang franchise. Alam ko, sinasabi niya lang iyong sama ng loob niya during 2016 elections—na naglagay siya ng pera, hindi lumabas iyong advertisement. Doon, doon lang siya nagagalit.”

In Translation: The words that “I won’t extend the franchise,” I’ve never heard that from the President. I know that he is just saying those negative things because of the 2016 elections—because of the issue that there were underground transactions that led to his win and because his paid advertisements did not show. That’s just why he is angry.

So, to conclude, Andanar is passive—he is giving the assurance that President Rodrigo Duterte never really mentioned the act him not approving the ABS-CBN franchise renewal—that what he is feeling right now is because of the controversies last 2016 elections.

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Since when was the ABS-CBN renewal bill on hold?

Tracing back, the ABS-CBN franchise renewal failed multiple times to pass the Congress. Since then, the same measure was left pending in the year 2016. The case, to add to that, adjourned in June.

Now, the corporation is hopeful that the renewal of the franchise is going to be successful as they are well-known to be one of the largest TV networks in Southeast Asia.

What will happen if the ABS-CBN franchise fails to be renewed?

This image was taken from The Philippine Star | Philstar.com

Since ABS-CBN is considered to be one of the most successful corporations in the country, tens of thousands of people work for it.

In addition to that, some businessmen, investors, and shareholders put their money on the corporation as it continues to soar over time. More so, it has acquired tons of business partners to boost its operations with.

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Should the issue persist and President Duterte decides to shut off the operations of the corporation and the network, tens of thousands of people will lose jobs.

In fact, in the closing year of 2018, as per its direct report to both the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) ane the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), there were a recorded number of 3,325 talents. In terms of having regular employees, the TV network alone has 6,730 regular staff members; 900 non-regular employees; and hundreds of businessmen eyeing on the stock.

Although the issue that transpired was three (3) years back, whoever might have experienced it might have done the same—or even worse.

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So the ABS-CBN franchise renewal is still pending but since it is House Bill No. 676, people are hoping that this will be resolved again.

What do you think about Violago’s refiling of the bill that would grant ABS-CBN franchise renewal? Do you think that this is a political move? Or would the President still insist on not signing the bill into law about the corporation’s franchise renewal?

Being one of the most successful companies in the history of the Philippines, owners, and stakeholders of the corporation should have their fingers crossed for the success of the refiling of the bill allowing ABS-CBN to renew their franchise.

Sources: CNN Philippines | Rappler | Politiko (Bible of Philippine Politics

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