MANILA, Philippines– Do you want Congress to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise?
Days after ABS-CBN went off-air, several Filipinos showed their indignation by holding their lawmakers accountable and tagging them on social media, in a bid to move forward deliberations on the embattled media network’s franchise renewal.
At least 9 bills seeking ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal are pending with the House of Representatives, but it has dragged its feet in acting on any of them.
The delay led to ABS-CBN shutting down radio and television operations on May 5, following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The media network’s congressional franchise had expired the day before.
It was only more than a week after the shutdown when the House started pushing to grant ABS-CBN a provisional franchise valid until October 31, 2020, through House Bill No. 6732.
Filed on Wednesday, May 13, the bill will need to successfully hurdle through readings in the House and the Senate before it would be up for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had long threatened that ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal would not be renewed.
MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, is leading an online campaign encouraging Filipinos to tag their representatives and use the hashtag #CourageON.
Across social media, several Filipinos have jumped on the trend to urge lawmakers to tackle the matter and bring ABS-CBN back on-air.
Quezon City resident Arah Badayos appealed to the city’s 6th District Representative Kit Belmonte to act on the franchise renewal.
“It will not only be a service for the 11,000 families to be affected by job losses but also a service to the country and its people,” he said.
#CourageON: @AttyKitBelmonte Please act on ABS-CBN franchise renewal. It will not only be a service for the 11,000 families to be affected by job losses but also a service to the country and its people. https://t.co/wz8k44UEYw
#CourageON: @AttyKitBelmonte Please act on ABS-CBN franchise renewal. It will not only be a service for the 11,000 families to be affected by job losses but also a service to the country and its people. https://t.co/wz8k44UEYw— Arah Badayos (@arahjell) May 10, 2020
In Muntinlupa City, Roberta Feliciana asked her district’s representative Ruffy Biazon to be her “voice at hearings” and vote for the extension of the ABS-CBN franchise.
Biazon replied, saying he will take note of her request.
Your request is noted.— Ruffy Biazon (@ruffybiazon) May 12, 2020
Several Filipinos also tagged their representatives on their social media posts.
Others, meanwhile, tagged the House of Representatives as a whole to bring to their attention the need for a “fair and honest review of ABS-CBN’s case.”
@HouseofRepsPH ….renew the #ABSCBNfranchise … "THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ARTICLE III BILL OF RIGHTS Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press…." #DefendPressFreedom #CourageOn https://t.co/xo4WjkTmnz— Reg Zamora (@MmzamoraMaria) May 8, 2020
Do you want to join the campaign as well? You can do so by following these simple steps: