Tag Archives: Rep. Edcel Lagman

[From the web] Lagman: NTC must not be the scapegoat for the house leadership’s dereliction

Lagman: NTC must not be the scapegoat for the house leadership’s dereliction

The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) must not be used as the scapegoat for the patent failure of the leadership of the House of Representatives to resolutely push for the seasonable renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

There is no other solution to the dilemma of ABS-CBN than the immediate renewal of its franchise now that Congress is in session.

I have repeatedly warned that Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s proffered solution for NTC to grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate, despite the lapse of its franchise, is against the law and jurisprudence.

Section 16 of RA 7925 or the “Public Telecommunications Policy Act” clearly provides that “No person shall commence or conduct the business of being a public telecommunications entity without first obtaining a franchise.”

Moreover, in Associated Communications and Wireless Services United Broadcasting Networks vs. NTC, the Supreme Court held that “As long as the law remains unchanged, the requirement of a franchise to operate a television station must be upheld.”

It appears that Speaker Cayetano and Commissioner Gamaliel Cordova of NTC were playing charades because after Cordova undertook to grant the provisional authority, the NTC nonetheless issued the cease and desist order for ABS-CBN to stop operations.

The closure of the network giant, which could have been averted by the timely congressional renewal of its franchise, is a flagrant derogation of the freedom of the press.

It could be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte upon assumption to office declared that he will not sign any law renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN because the latter allegedly failed to air some of his paid political advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.

The President subsequently accepted the explanation and apology of ABS-CBN executives which could have been the go signal for the House to renew the franchise, unless such acceptance was part of the travesty to eventually shut down ABS-CBN for some ulterior motives.

The shuttering of ABC-CBN highlights the verity that the House must exercise its constitutional powers independently and without succumbing to the President’s intervention.

The ABS-CBN is not the only victim of its closure, but also the public who, more than ever, needs and depends on the network’s broadcast information as COVID-19 continues to rampage, as well as thousands of its employees nationwide, indirect workers, and enterprises dependent on the broadcasting network who would lose their jobs and livelihoods.

EDCEL C. LAGMAN

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[People] Not supplemental nor stimulus but more powers to DU30 vs COVID-19 -Rep. Edcel Lagman

Hon. Edcel Lagman, photo source http://ph.yfittopostblog.com/

The unfolding output of the one-day special session in the House of Representatives is the grant of more emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to combat COVID-19 as he requested in the Malacañang-crafted H.B. No. 6616, even as the validity of the virtual session and electronic voting of the House of Representatives is in legal limbo as no prior amendment was properly effected under the existing Rules of the House.

Authorizing the President with extraordinary powers was in lieu of a supplemental budget or an economic stimulus package to ameliorate affected citizens and displaced workers and bail out distressed businesses, particularly micro and small enterprises.

The grant of extraordinary budgetary powers to the President to restructure or re-engineer the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) surrenders the Congress’ constitutional power of the purse to the Executive even as it allows the President to transfer funds in violation of Section 25 of Article VI of the Constitution which unequivocally prohibits the enactment of a law authorizing a transfer of funds.

Under House Bill No. 6616, the President is authorized to cause the (a) “cancellation of appropriated programs, projects or activities” to “generate (forced) savings”, and (b) “reprogram, reallocate, and realign any allocations in the FY 2020 GAA for whatever purpose the President may deem necessary and desirable to fund measures to address and respond to the COVID-19 emergency.”

Read complete story @edcellagman.ph

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[From the web] Lagman: Duterte Administration must answer critical questions on COVID-19

The following overriding and critical questions about the COVID-19 pandemic afflicting the country need immediate candid answers from the Duterte administration:

  1. Why is the President’s Contingency Fund of P13 billion barely untouched when it was purposely appropriated to respond to calamities like the deadly novel coronavirus? Reliable sources reveal that only a low of P1 million and/or a high of P1 billion had been disbursed from the contingent fund which has an unutilized balance as of today of not less than P12 billion.
  2. Why are impoverished local government units, particularly rural barangays, saddled with the obligation to provide food, work and cash assistance to affected citizens and displaced workers when they do not have the financial wherewithal to positively and adequately respond even as the Office of the President and national agencies have the sufficient funds under the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) just waiting to be disbursed to meet the crisis?
  3. Why is the mortality rate of the Philippines at 6.2% of infected patients (19 deaths out of 307 COVID-19 positive patients) is much higher than the global death rate of 4.3%?

Read complete story @edcellagman.ph

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