YES or NO: House to vote on ABS-CBN franchise on July 10

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers are expected to decide on the fate of ABS-CBN Corp. on Friday, July 10.

House to decide on ABS-CBN franchise on Friday

This was announced by Bayan Muna Party List Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor.

Defensor said voting could happen between 1pm to 1:30pm. Results are expected to be released by 2pm.

UPDATEABS-CBN franchise renewal: who will vote, process, results

The joint House panel conducted 12 grueling hearings to cover 11 franchise renewal bills and tackle the allegations and issues surrounding the network's franchise.

The Lower House wrapped up the joint hearing on Thursday as Zarate and Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta (of Sagip party-list) summarized the arguments for pro and anti-ABS-CBN franchise renewal, respectively.

The decision whether to grant or deny the 25-year franchise of ABS-CBN lies in the hands of more than 90 congressmen.

Aside from the 46 members of the Committee on Legislative Franchises, at least 45 House leaders or ex-officio members will also vote for the first reading at the committee level.

The rules of the House state that one-fifth of all the members of a committee shall be present to constitute a quorum.

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.

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

If approved on the Lower House, its Secretary General shall transmit the bill to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate shall proceed to consider and vote on the bill. They may choose to write its own bill or adopt the House version, at its discretion. The House can also choose to adopt the Senate version. Then, it will be will be enrolled for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte. He can sign the bill, veto it or allow it to lapse into law.

Meanwhile, if the committee level rejects ABS-CBN's franchise, the network can file a motion for reconsideration or refile its franchise application.

READ: Report predicts ABS-CBN will not get a new franchise

Section 40 of the House Rules states that a committee member may still move for the reconsideration of the measure during the same meeting or on the succeeding day after the meeting, if ABS-CBN files a motion for reconsideration.

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.

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

Lawmakers also formed a technical working group (TWG) to study and draft recommendations on the application for franchise of ABS-CBN.

Members of the TWG Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, Camiguin Representative Xavier Jesus Romualdo, and Marikina City Representative Stella Quimbo will present the output on Friday afternoon. It is not yet certain if the meeting is open to the public.

On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued cease and desist order following the expiration of ABS-CBN Corp. franchise.

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.

— The Summit Express

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