IN a Senate hearing earlier Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian asked the ABS-CBN TV network over its commitment, that their employees will remain with their work even after they went off the air last May 05.
ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak admitted that they are now considering the retrenchment process among their employees if they fail to renew their franchise by August.
Katigbak said that they are already losing a huge substantial amount of money since they went off the air last May 05.
ABS-CBN allegedly losses P35 million every day if they are not on air.
Before this, the House of Representatives eyed to pass a “provisional” franchise valid until October 31, 2020.
House Bill (HB) No. 6732 was sponsored and approved on 2nd reading on the same day, on May 13 and on May 18 when lawmakers withdrew the passing of the HB bill due to a 3-day constitutional review before another reading approval.
Under the constitution, private bills, such as a franchise bill, must originate from the Lower Chamber.
Meanwhile, during the Senate hearing this morning, lawmakers started to tackle 4 bills for the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise such as Senate Bill 1521, Senate Bill No. 981 and 1403, which seek to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise for another 25 years; Senate Bill No. 1521, which seeks a provisional franchise to the network; Senate Bill No. 1374, which seeks to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise until Dec. 31, 2020.
However, resource person Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile admitted that he is in doubt if Congress can grant a provisionary franchise to ABS-CBN due to its pending case before the Supreme Court.
Enrile also said that based on the constitution, a franchiser can only have a 50 year limitation period for his/her franchise, insisting that ABS-CBN is the oldest TV network that began operating during the time of Pres. Elpidio Quirino.
The former Senate president, however, advised Congress that instead of a provisionary franchise, the Congress should consider giving ABS-CBN a 25 year to the permanent franchise.