MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on legislative franchises is finally holding its first hearing on the bills that would renew the franchise of media network ABS-CBN on Tuesday, March 10.
The hearing will focus on Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano's proposal for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant ABS-CBN provisional authority to operate while its franchise bills are pending in Congress.
The Speaker – who had accused ABS-CBN of alleged unfair election reporting – initially wanted to hold the hearing in May or early August.
But he changed his mind, agreeing to allow House committee on legislative franchises chairperson Franz Alvarez to hold one hearing just before the 18th Congress takes a two-month break starting Saturday, March 14.
But Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, a strong advocate of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal, slammed Tuesday's hearing as "limited" and said it "appears to be cosmetic and inconsequential."
None of ABS-CBN's executives have been invited to the hearing for now.
Watch the House hearing on the media network's franchise renewal to be held at the Belmonte Hall of the Batasang Pambansa at 1 pm Tuesday. – Rappler.com