ABS-CBN franchise to expire on May 4, 2020 – DOJ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 24) — Media giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation has more time to operate as it awaits the renewal of its broadcast franchise.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said the franchise will lapse on May 4, 2020 — not March 30 as widely reported.

During the Senate Committee on Public Services inquiry into ABS-CBN's franchise, he said the 25-year franchise was granted on March 30, 1995, but it becomes effective 15 days after it is published in newspapers. He added this is an "undisputed fact."

"Based on facts available to us, the franchise was published on April 19, 1995. For that reason, the franchise will expire on May 4, 2020," he said.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said the House may be able to tackle the bills in May at the earliest, citing “more urgent" measures on deck for lawmakers.

A total of eleven bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s legal mandate are languishing before the lower chamber.