LIGHTS ON. The operation of the 1-megawatt Amanjuray mini-hydro power plant will not only help provide electricity to the town of Lawaan but also the rest of Eastern Samar. Photo shows National Electrification Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda(left) and Rep. Marcelino ‘Nonoy’ Libanan of the 4Ps party-list led the inauguration of the facility on Feb. 20, 2024. (Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc.)

Rep. Daza open to media foreign control

TACLOBAN CITY– If he has his way, Rep. Paul Daza of Northern Samar wants to see the abolition of a congressional franchise for media and telecommunications.

Daza (1st district) also said that the media and the telecommunication sectors should be open to all, including foreign investors.

“The Philippines is one of the few countries, if not the only country in the world, that requires congressional franchise on media and telecommunication. That is the ultimate red tape as it is prone to corruption and politicization,” he said in an interview.

The Northern Samar solon, who belongs to the minority group in the House of Representatives, is among the congressmen who favor amending the country’s 1987 Constitution, particularly its economic provisions.

One of the sectors that could be affected by this move is the media sector.

At present, radio and television operations in the country require approval from Congress through franchise.

Daza said that instead of seeking franchises, media outlets need only to apply for operation permits from the Executive Office, particularly at the National Telecommunications Commission.

“This constitutional provision has been overtaken by technology. So-called bloggers and other social media users are not required to apply for a franchise,” he said.

“Let’s open it up to whoever is interested, be it local or foreign. Let’s open our economy,” Daza said.

Meantime, Daza insisted that the proponents of the Charter Change move will stick to its agenda, which is to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.

While incumbent congressmen could benefit to any political amendments like term extension, Daza insisted that no political-related issue has been included in the agenda.

According to him, those who will propose for any amendments regarding term extension, for example, would be declared as ‘out of order’ considering that it is not within the agenda being tackled by the committee hearing and discussing the matter.

“So it is impossible to have deliberations on political amendments,” he said.