HOUSE Majority Leader Martin Romualdez as chairman of the Committee on Rules immediately referred House Joint Resolution No. 18 filed by Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar to the Committee on Legislative Franchises.
The resolution seeks to extend until end of the 18th Congress or June 30, 2022 the franchise of the ABS-CBN Corporation.
In a statement, Romualdez said it is now up to the committee chairman and members to decide if they would prioritize HJR No. 28 over a slew of ABS-CBN franchise extension bills filed separately by 11 other congressmen.
However, Romualdez said this may further clog up the calendar of the committee on legislative franchises since it also has to consider House Resolution (HR) No. 639 filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman last January 6.
“I was informed, though, that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises had already met and started consideration of the ABS-CBN franchise bills,” Romualdez said.
“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,” he added.
There were already 11 separate bills filed related to the franchise extension including the last one filed by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda of Antique only last February 13.
“I pray that the stakeholders in this issue give the committee enough time to deliberate intelligently on the ABS-CBN franchise extension,” Romualdez said.
The House leader noted that there may be a need to consolidate all the measures into one substitute bill in order to ensure systematic and orderly deliberations of the measures in the committee and plenary levels.
Meanwhile, he assured the public that all stakeholders were given equal opportunities to air their position on the subject franchise renewal.