OSG opposes Leila de Lima's bid to revive holdover franchise

OSG opposes Leila de Lima's bid to revive holdover franchise

 


Detained senator Leila De Lima is in the news again.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has made strong moves to allow holders of expired broadcast franchises to continue to operate while their renewal applications are pending in the House of Representatives (HR).

 The OSG and the NTC maintains that such a move being pushed by the opposition senator is in direct violation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and lacks of legal basis.

 

(photo credit to owner)

Just like Senator Franklin Drilon’s Senate Bill 1530 and House Bill 7923 filed by ParaƱaque City Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting are unconstitutional and illegal, the OSG said.

"The bills disregard the legislative nature and origin of a franchise in contravention of the Constitution," Solicitor General Jose Calida said.

The position paper submitted by the OSG to Congress was supported by the NTC.

"By institutionalizing the system of 'holdover franchise' in the broadcasting industry, the proposed bills violate the settled rule that the privilege to operate a broadcasting station requires a legislative franchise in the form of a law," the OSG said.

The bills seek to amend the law mandating that the final determination of the fate of the franchise will only be made once the franchise applicant has received a written notice of approval or disapproval from Congress.

The OSG pointed out that "Article XII, Section 10 of the Constitution provides that no such franchise certificates are exclusive."

"By allowing the select few to use these privileges despite having expired franchise limit the public to apply for these privileges. This promotes exclusivity which will run counter to the true intention of the Constitution."

Should these bills be passed into law, the OSG warned that they will question their legality before the Supreme Court.

 

 

 

 

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Report from Manila Times

 

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