House panel fails to act on CBCP broadcast franchise renewal

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2017 11:26 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives has not renewed the broadcast franchise renewal application of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines before it went into recess.

House Committee on Legislative Franchise Chairman Franz Alvarez said the inaction on House Bill 4820 was because the committee has too many applicants for franchises.

The measure sought to extend for another 25 years the franchise granted to CBCP to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and or TV broadcasting stations in the country.

The CBCP's last franchise, granted by Republic Act 7530 as approved in 1992, lapsed earlier this year.

House Bill 4820 was filed in January 24 and was referred to Alvarez's panel on January 31, where it has been languishing ever since.

This however appears to be separate from the franchise of CBCP's most popular platform, Radyo Veritas, which had its franchise renewed by the Aquino administration before its term of office ended.

Last week, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called the CBCP "thick faced" for criticizing the government.

Asked if he suspected that the latest SWS poll showing a drop in the President's rating maybe slanted and part of a destabilization against the administration, Alvarez said it was "possible."

"Kasi tignan mo, yung CBCP, putak na naman nang putak. May mga challenges pa eh kapal ng mukha. Ayusin muna nila yung mga pari nila, kung ano ano pinaggagawang kabulastugan--mga minors pinapatulan. Ang dami nila, may mga pedophiles. Ayusin muna nila yung hanay nila bago sila putak nang putak against the government," he said.

Asked if he thought that the CBCP had something to do with the SWS poll, which saw an 18-point drop in President Rodrigo Duterte's satisfaction ratings, Alvarez said: "Di ko alam pero alam mo naman mga sermon sermon nila. Bakit di nila isermon kanilang mga pari na daming ginagawang kabulastugan."