Group launches people’s initiative for ABS-CBN franchise

Group launches people’s initiative for ABS-CBN franchise

Artists and employees of ABS-CBN hold a candlelighting ceremony at the network's compound after Congress denied its franchise application on July 10, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

PIRMA Kapamilya aims to gather 7 million signatures nationwide to allow ABS-CBN to go back on air

A group of citizen volunteers launched the People’s Initiative for Reforms and Movement for Action (PIRMA Kapamilya) on Friday, July 24, seeking to grant media network ABS-CBN a “people’s franchise.”

This comes two weeks after the House committee on legislative franchises  denied the network’s franchise application on July 10.

The group’s petition and the proposed franchise law can be accessed and downloaded from www.pirma.ph. They also launched social media pages with the name PIRMA Kapamilya.

In a statement, the group said citizens could now take part in the process by affixing their signatures on two printed copies and submitting the copies to the PIRMA Kapamilya contacts in their legislative districts.

PIRMA Kapamilya aimed to gather 7 million signatures nationwide to allow ABS-CBN to go back on air and resume its broadcast operations. To be successful, the people’s initiative requires the signatures of at least 3% of registered voters in each legislative district and at least 10% of total registered voters in the country. (READ: What you need to know about people’s initiative)

“The group laments Congress’ vote to deny ABS-CBN’s franchise which left many Filipinos not only jobless at the height of this pandemic but also deprived citizens of their fundamental right to information,” the statement read.

The group also said that they were finding ways to provide print-outs to remote areas, identify drop-off centers, and partner with grassroots organizations and sectoral groups in gathering the signatures.

A survey from SWS in early July showed that a huge majority of Filipinos agreed that Congress should renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.

The volunteer group described itself as a “multi-sectoral, non-partisan, inclusive, volunteer-led grassroots movement composed of individuals, groups, associations, coalitions, and alliances that enable citizens and communities to reclaim the power of citizenry.”

Its co-conveners include lawyers Herminio Bagro III, Eirene Jhone Aguila, Dino de Leon, and Mike Tiu. – Rappler.com

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