Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

MANILA – House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Tuesday vowed to authorize all standing and special committees to hold hearings during the congressional recess in June.

Before adjourning sine die next week, Romualdez said he will make a formal motion in the plenary to allow not only the continued hearings on broadcast giant ABS-CBN’s franchise application but also the conduct of hearings of all standing and special panels aimed at producing vital pieces of legislation.

“I will move in plenary session, prior to its adjournment sine die, to authorize not only this Committee but all the Committees, to conduct its hearings and deliberations on noteworthy and meaningful proposed legislations even on recess,” Romualdez said during the joint hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise.

Romualdez assured the public that the joint hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise application will not in any way affect the commitment of the House leadership to pass laws, especially those that would respond to the nation’s survival from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We will not be distracted and we will not lose track of shepherding priority legislations that will answer and cater to the needs of the welfare of the people especially in these challenging and difficult times,” he 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.

Earlier in the day, the House Defeat Covid-19 Committee approved three measures to help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on the country, particularly: the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) or the PHP1.3 trillion economic stimulus package; the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) bill; and a bill prohibiting the discrimination against persons with suspected, probable, and confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said he is happy that Congress remained steadfast in its commitment to prioritize essential legislation, particularly those relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite all the distractions.

“These three measures, which form part of Congress’ larger AIM or the adopt, innovate, and manage the initiative, will ease the impact of the virus on those most vulnerable sectors of our society,” he said. (ia/PNA)

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