‘Very difficult for House to tackle ABS-CBN franchise during ECQ’

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first_img“Because of the new normal in conducting a committee hearing at sa dami ngayon ng naka-quarantine… it’s very difficult,” says House Deputy Speaker for Internal Affairs Neptali Gonzales II. ABS-CBN NEWS The NTC has received the House panel’s order on Monday noon and they were given 72 hours to explain or face punishment./PN House Deputy Speaker for Internal Affairs Neptali Gonzales II said on Monday the House members need to meet in person to discuss the franchise as it will be “very difficult” to tackle the issue via teleconferencing. “The act of the NTC constitutes undue interference and disobedience to the exercise of the power of the House of Representatives, and therefore, an affront to its dignity and an inexcusable disrespect of its authority,” Alvarez said.Alvarez noted the assurance of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba during a House hearing in March that the commission will issue a provisional authority to allow the media company to temporarily continue broadcasting after its legislative franchise expires on May 4. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has earlier told lawmakers it would allow ABS-CBN to operate provisionally even with an expired license, while the House had yet to tackle the bills but they ordered the media outfit to stop its broadcast operations last week due to its expired license. “Because of the new normal in conducting a committee hearing at sa dami ngayon ng naka-quarantine… it’s very difficult,” Gonzales said.  “‘Di ko malalaman kung kakayanin ng [online] Zoom meeting ‘yon because of the various issues involved.”ABS-CBN’s license to operate has expired last May 4 while bills for its renewal, some filed in 2016, stalled in Congress. The House Committee on Legislative Franchises, meanwhile, has ordered the NTC to explain its decision directing ABS-CBN Corporation to shut down its broadcast operations. MANILA – The House of Representatives will have a hard time tackling bills seeking to grant ABS-CBN a new franchise while several areas were still under enhanced community quarantine due to coronavirus disease pandemic. House panel chair Franz Alvarez demanded that NTC officials explain why they shouldn’t be held in contempt for not keeping their word to congressmen that the commission will give ABS-CBN a temporary license to operate.last_img

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