MANILA - The vice-chairperson of the legislative committee tasked with hearing bills renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise said Wednesday the lower House has "other things" to work on.
This, amid calls within the chamber, among media organizations and supportive groups for action on the bills on ABS-CBN's franchise.
"Nagtatrabaho ho naman kami. It's just so there are other bills and things that are coming up that we feel very, very important," Isabela 1st District Rep. Antonio Albano, vice-chair of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, told radio DZMM.
He added: "I'm not saying the franchise bill of ABS-CBN is not important. Pero kagaya niyan, yung novel coronavirus na nangyayari scared millions and millions of supposed tourists that could have gone already to Boracay and displacing a lot of workers now. Kailangan namin gumawa ng batas diyan, pinaprioritize namin 'yun."
Albano had said the panel would not be "stampeded" into hasty decisions on the renewal.
Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza has urged Albano's panel to act immediately on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN instead of allowing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to decide on the matter.
"Accept the fact that if you have to go through the NTC one call from Malacañang will reject that request of yours," Atienza said.
On Tuesday, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman claimed House members have been asked to withdraw support for the resolution that seeks to expedite plenary deliberations of measures that will grant ABS-CBN fresh broadcast franchise.
The resolution urges the Committee on Legislative Franchises "to report out without further delay a consolidated bill on the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise."
Albano belied Lagman's allegation.--With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News