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House committee to start hearing ABS-CBN franchise renewal next week

The House of Representatives will start to tackle the 11 bills seeking to renew the franchise of media network ABS-CBN next week.

House Speaker and Taguig City-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Wednesday, March 4, that Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, chairperson of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, released a notice stating that the hearings will start on March 10.

In their first meeting, Cayetano said that they will re-announce the call to submit position papers whether for or against the franchise renewal of the media network.

We want to define the issues. So ang paki-usap ko sa lahat ng pro at anti is before we re-convene on May, nakapasok na ang lahat ng inyong position papers,” the House Speaker said during a press conference at the Batasang Pambansa.

Cayetano also said that the hearing will seek to urge the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant a provisional authority to operate to ABS-CBN by making it clear that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises have taken action on pending bills regarding the franchise renewal of the media network.

He added that Alvarez will set ground rules to prevent the hearings from becoming a ‘circus’, ‘bull session’ or a ‘sipsipan forum‘.

“Ayaw natin maging bull session ang mga hearing. Ibig sabihin lahat ng may sama ng loob sa ABS, iyon ang gagawin,” Cayetano explained.

Ayaw din naman natin maging sipsipan forum na ang lahat ng magsasalita ay isa-isa lang ang sasabihin kung gaano kagaling, gaano kabango, gaano karami ang nagawa ng ABS,” he added.

Cayetano also said that they will not invite ABS-CBN executives in the meeting since they want to focus with NTC to ensure that media network will not go off the air.

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