Senate approves 10 franchise bills for various firms

Published October 5, 2020, 9:25 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate passed on third and final reading the bills granting 10 telecommunications, media, energy companies and a turf club a fresh and amended franchise.

During their Monday plenary session, senators approved the franchise bills that have been transmitted to them by the House of Representatves:

• House Bill No. 6371, which seeks to renew for another 25 years the franchise of the Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. or Globe Telecom Inc. to operate domestic telecommunications, radiophones, broadcasting and telecasting. Its franchise was set to expire on August 9, 2021.

• House Bill No. 6836 for the Davao Light and Power Company to construct and continue operating electric light, heat and power system in Davao City and the municipalities of Carmen, Panabo, Dujali and Santo Tomas in Davao del Norte for another 25 years. Its franchise will expire on September 7, 2025.

• House Bill No. 6919, which amends the franchise granted to Philippine Collective Media Corporation to expand its operations to digital television in Eastern Visayas.

• House Bill No. 6835 to renew for another 25 years the franchise of Metro Manila Turf Club Inc. which operates and maintain a racetrack for horse racing. Its franchise expired on April 22, 2020.

• House Bill No. 5491 renewing for another 25 years the franchise of Cruz Telephone Company, Inc. to operate a telecommunications system under Manila East Holding Corporation and J.S. Cruz Construction and Development Inc.  Its franchise expired last March 29.

• House Bill No. 6373, renewing for another 25 years the franchise of Tandag Electric and Telephone Company, Inc. Its franchise will expire on July 16, 2023.

• House Bill No. 6254, renewing for another 25 years the franchise of FBS Radio Network. Its franchise expired last July 9, 2020.

• House Bill No. 6256, renewing for another 25 years the franchise of Century Communications Marketing Center Inc, whose franchise expired on July 16, 2020.

• House Bill No. 6374, renewing for another 25 years the franchise of Caceres Broadcasting Corporation, whose franchise also expired last July 9.

• House Bill No. 7264, renewing for another 25 years the franchise of Negros Broadcasting and Publishing Corporation, whose franchise expired last September 23.

Of the senators, only Senator Joel Villanueva did not favor the passage of the franchise for the Metro Manila Turf Club, The senator, son of Christian evangelist and congressman Bro. Eddie Villanueva, has vocally opposed all forms of gambling.

Following their approval in the Senate, the franchise bills will be enrolled to Malacanang for the President’s approval.