House to continue ABS-CBN franchise hearings during break
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives can continue to deliberate on the renewal of media network ABS-CBN’s franchise even though the 18th Congress is on break.
This is after the chamber adopted on Friday a motion of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez to allow all standing and special committees to conduct public hearings or inquiries even when Congress is adjourned sine die.
“I move that we authorize all committees to conduct meetings, if deemed necessary, during the adjournment sine die of the first regular session of the 18th Congress,” Romualdez said during the House plenary.
His motion was adopted by lawmakers.
The move to allow House panels to hold hearings aims to produce “noteworthy and meaningful proposed legislation” as well as “support the continued hearings of ABS-CBN’s franchise application,” Romualdez said.
“We must work doubly hard not only to arrive at the decision on whether to grant the franchise application of ABS-CBN but more importantly, to craft and put into fruition the passage of the priority measures relative to the fight against the pandemic, and the eventual defeat of COVID-19,” he added.
The House panels on legislative franchise and good governance and accountability have been conducting hearings to thresh out the issues raised on the ABS-CBN franchise.
The network’s franchise expired last May 4 and it went off the air after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against it on May 5.
The 18th Congress adjourned sine die on Friday, signaling the end of its first regular session. It is set to resume its second regular session on July 27, the same day President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona).
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