By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate committee on public services chaired by Senator Grace Poe has started the public hearing on how the giant TV network ABS-CBN Corporation has been using its franchise, which is set to expire on March 30.
The Upper Chamber proceeded with the hearing even though the House of Representatives has yet to hear several bills filed with the House committee on franchise seeking to renew the ABS-CBN franchise.
Among those present in the hearing are Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) National Investiaiton Division Chief Roberto Baquiran and Legal Division’s Brianna Kay Delos Santos, Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Commissioner Johannes Benjamin Bernabe, and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba.
Top executives of ABS-CBN network, namely Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN’s President and Chief Executive Officer; Martin Lopez, chairman and Ma. Socorro “Cory” Vidanes, Chief Operating Officer for Broadcast were also present.
Other franchises up for scrutiny by Poe’s committee also include Global Satellite Technology Services, Inc., Bicol Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Gold Label Broadcasting Inc. Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media, Inc., Golden Broadcast Professional Inc., and Crusaders Broadcasting System Inc.
Organizations that were also present are the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Professional Artist Managers, Inc., Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines and the National Alliance of Broadcast Unions.
The hearing is ongoing as of press time.