Isabela Representative Antonio “Tonypet” Albano, who serves as vice chairperson of House committee, said on Tuesday that network giant ABS-CBN can still continue its operations even after the legislative franchise lapses on the 30th of March. This clarification came amid the misinformation on the procedures followed by the House of Representatives on the termination of the services of the media network.
“May I remind the public that even if the ABS-CBN’s franchise expires on the said date on March, it does not mean that ABS-CBN will close completely because the rule of thumb, and I believe this in the committee – and we were briefed on this – is that while this 18th Congress is still ongoing, hindi po titigil ang services ng ABS-CBN hanggang po matapos ang 18th Congress,” Albano told reporters.
According to Atty. Rudolph Jularbal, who serves as the legal counsel Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), ABS-CBN can still operate for the network was able to apply for renewal of franchise before its expiration. He added that unless the proceedings are over, the franchise is ‘deemed extended’ allowing the media giant to resume its services.
He also related this issue to several other cases of members filing for renewal before the expiration date in which since the application is technically pending, the operations are extended.
Davao City Rep. Jericho Nograles said that ABS-CBN would not automatically go off the air as the network may still apply for a provisional authority from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).