Lawmaker files bill granting new franchise to ABS-CBN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 6, 2020   •   419

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez has filed a bill that would grant ABS-CBN Corporation a new franchise.

On Wednesday (May 6), Rodriguez filed House Bill No. 6694 proposing to grant ABS-CBN a new legislative franchise for 25 years.

“In order to continue to provide uninterrupted and improved delivery of its services to the Filipino people, the franchise should be granted in the soonest possible time,” he said.

The House representative also filed House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 30 provisional franchise to ABS-CBN until June 2022.

According to Rodriguez, this is while both the Senate and the House of Representatives “need additional time to review, assess, and determine whether or not ABS-CBN shall be granted a new franchise.” AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

House panel approves P1.5-T fund to create jobs amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

The House Defeat COVID-19 Committee has approved a bill seeking to provide a P1.5-trillion fund to create sustainable jobs amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

House Bill 6709 or the proposed “COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (CURES) Act of 2020″ is set to fund infrastructure projects in rural areas to help curb unemployment amid the pandemic.

The CURES Act of 2020 shall also be undertaken with the “Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program” and the immediate funding of CURES projects shall target the construction of health centers, school buildings, vocational learning centers, as well as improving fish ports and trading centers at barangay levels.

The House Bill is expected to be sponsored on Thursday (May 28) for its 2nd reading approval in the plenary on Thursday afternoon. It will have to go through a 3rd and final reading before it can hurdle the House.

Meanwhile, representatives of other government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also endorsed the approval of the proposed CURES Act of 2020. –AAC

House solon wants charter change proposals shelved ‘indefinitely’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 21, 2020

Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines – Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Thursday said he will propose the suspension of deliberations on the controversial charter change (Cha-Cha) proposals amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, said he is inclined to recommend to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to “shelve Cha-Cha indefinitely” to focus on discussing measures to address the public health crisis and help the Filipino people prepare for the ‘new normal’.

The lawmaker made the proposal following claims that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other advocates initiated moves to gather up to two million signatures in support of Cha-Cha.

“This is not the time for the DILG and its allies to relaunch their signature drive and renew their push for Cha-cha. They should postpone it until this health crisis is over,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“So my message to Cha-cha advocates and their DILG patrons is: stop it, it won’t fly while there is a pandemic,” he added.

Rodriguez said pushing for Cha-Cha can wait as Congress will first have to attend to measures that will “save lives and the livelihood of our people.”

The DILG earlier denied it has launched a signature campaign for Cha-Cha, branding these reports as fake news. RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

House to prioritize discussion on COVID-19 relief measures

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Monday said it will prioritize measures seeking to address the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it resumes session amid the ongoing community quarantine in Metro Manila.

House leaders said they will focus on and fast-track the passage of bills seeking economic relief, such as the Philippine Economic Recovery Act (PERA) that will help the country’s economy bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.

The PERA bill proposes the allocation of P700 billion to be used in restarting the economy by providing assistance to business owners.

The bill also seeks to allot P25 billion fund to procure test kits to be used in area- and office-based mass testing to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 infections.

The Lower House will also discuss the COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus bill which seeks to und a nationwide extensive job creation program, particularly in infrastructure projects.

The House of Representatives will also tackle the bill proposing to extend the validity of 2020 General Appropriations Act and other measures seeking to address the delays and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in government projects and programs.

The lower chamber also eyes discussing the House Bill 6623 or the proposed New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020 which aims to establish regulations for the “new normal” amid the coronavirus crisis.

Like the Senate, the House will also conduct plenary sessions and committee hearings via teleconferencing and other social media platforms.

On Monday’s hearing, only 25 House lawmakers were physically present while the rest attended the session from their districts through zoom video conferencing software and other applications.

The House of Representatives said it will fast-track its deliberation to pass priority measures before its sine die adjournment

Congress will convene anew in July to open the second regular session, in the morning, and in joint session for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

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