Up to House panel to act on joint resolution on ABS-CBN–Romualdez
MANILA, Philippines — It is now up to the House committee on legislative franchise on how it will act on the joint resolution seeking to extend the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Tuesday.
Romualdez said the House Committee on Rules has referred House Joint Resolution No. 28, which seeks to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation until the end of 18th Congress in June 2022, to the House committee on legislative franchises.
“It is now up to the committee chairman and members to decide on how to dispose of the HJR No. 28, whether to prioritize it over a slew of ABS-CBN franchise extension bills filed separately by 11 other congressmen,” Romualdez said in a statement.
Romualdez said the joint resolution may “further clog up” the calendar of the legislative franchises committee.
Currently, there are 11 bills pending before the House committee on legislative franchise seeking the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
Aside from this, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman also filed House Resolution No. 639 urging the House committee to “report out without further delay for plenary action” a consolidated version of the bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
Romualdez said there may be a need to consolidate all measures into one substitute bill to not only ensure systematic deliberations of the measures but also to assure the public that all stakeholders were given equal opportunities to air their position on the issue.
On Monday, the legislative franchises committee formally started the proceedings to tackle the issue by asking stakeholders—both for and against the franchise renewal—to submit their position papers.
“I enjoin all stakeholders to submit their position papers on the issue as soon as possible so that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises may consider all viewpoints in their deliberations,” Romualdez said.
“I pray that the stakeholders in this issue give the House Committee on Legislative Franchises enough time to deliberate intelligently on the ABS-CBN franchise extension,” he added.
But no date for the actual hearings has been set yet.
House committee on legislative franchises chairman and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez said his committee may tackle the measures between May and August.
Edited by JPV
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