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    Report predicts ABS-CBN will not get a new franchise

    MANILA, Philippines – A report has predicted the odds of ABS-CBN Corporation getting a new franchise seems a bit shaky.


    As the committee hearing on the ABS-CBN's franchise concluded on Monday night, a report claimed that the media network will likely not get a new franchise. In an article entitled, “ABS-CBN doomed” published at The Manila Times, it presented documents that showed how members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Franchises and on Good Government and Public Accountability are expected to vote on the ABS-CBN franchise bill.

    POLL RESULTS: 92-percent believe ABS-CBN deserves fresh franchise

    It shows that the number of lawmakers supporting the franchise renewal is outnumbered by the number of those opposing it.

    "An initial tally of votes showed that 25 lawmakers were likely to vote in favor of the network, 57 were likely to oppose a new franchise, while 10 were unsure," it explained.

    Aside from the 46 members of the Committee on Legislative Franchise, 46 House leaders or ex-officio members will also vote for the first reading at the committee level. If the bill passes, it will be presented to the plenary for further debates and another voting will ensue for the second and third readings. A total of 92 lawmakers will decide on ABS-CBN's fate.

    Report claims ABS-CBN will not get a new franchise
    Photo Credit: The Manila Times

    READ: These 46 congressmen will decide on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

    UPDATE: House Committee on Legislative Franchises chair Franz Alvarez said there is no decision yet on the application of ABS-CBN Corp. for a new broadcast franchise. This is contrary to the media report. Alvarez added the results of how each congressman voted are expected to be made public.

    Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano had earlier urged lawmakers to cast their "conscience vote" in considering the granting of franchise to ABS-CBN. He said both the supporters and opposition of the franchise renewal should “open their minds” to the points of the other side.

    “I cannot speak for the parties, kasi mag-uusap-usap din sila (because they will discuss among themselves). But from the start, we’ve been urging a conscience vote,” Cayetano said.

    After 12 hearings, the House committees on legislative franchises and good government and public accountability, are set to finalize their deliberations on Thursday, July 9.

    SEE ALSO: Rep. Eric Yap alleges he received offer of P200 million to vote in favor of ABS-CBN

    Opposition

    Among those who are likely to vote against the franchise renewal are Kabayan party-list Rep. Ron Salo and Anakalusugan party-list Michael Defensor.

    Salo, who had earlier authored House Bill 6901 that seeks to grant a franchise to ABS-CBN, decided to withdraw his support for the network. He said ABS-CBN failed to disprove the allegations of violations against it. He also appealed to ABS-CBN executives to give assistance to its employees who are affected with the network's closure.

    Defensor also believed that they have had enough discussions to prove that ABS-CBN made several violations.

    Supporters

    Meanwhile, Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun, stood firm that ABS-CBN did not commit violations in relation to the issues of citizenship, Philippine Depositary Receipts, tax, labor practices and reportage.

    Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago also believes ABS-CBN complied with the necessary requirements of its previous franchise.

    NTC orders

    The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on May 5 issued cease and desist order following the expiration of ABS-CBN Corp. franchise. The network immediately complied to the rule and signed off the air at 7:52 pm following the news program TV Patrol.

    The CDO covers 42 television stations operated by ABS-CBN across the country, including the main ABS-CBN Network, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, ten digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations, and five AM stations.

    On June 13, cable-and-satellite channel named Kapamilya Channel was launched resuming the productions of ABS-CBN's dramas and live entertainment shows and airing its entertainment, educational and current affairs programming, along with temporary movie blocks.

    On June 30, the NTC and Solicitor General Jose Calida issued an alias CDO to stop operations of ABS-CBN TV Plus for its digital free-to-air channels on UHF Channel 43 in Metro Manila and some provinces. The agency also issued CDO against Direct Broadcast Satellite Service of ABS-CBN's affiliate Sky Cable Corporation.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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