Live television coverage of House sessions approved

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CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE House Committee on Public Information vice chairman Leopoldo Bataoil and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza with (from left to right) Jason Valencia of the National Telecommunications Commission; Vicente Carcellar, NTC; Romualdo Sta. Clara, secretary, House public information panel; Bernadette dela Cuesta, executive director, Public Relations and Information Bureau, House of Representatives; Alvin Blanco, engineer and chief, Broadcast Services Division, NTC; and Ricardo Ebarle Jr., engineer NTC

CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE House Committee on Public Information vice chairman Leopoldo Bataoil and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza with (from left to right) Jason Valencia of the National Telecommunications Commission; Vicente Carcellar, NTC; Romualdo Sta. Clara, secretary, House public information panel; Bernadette dela Cuesta, executive director, Public Relations and Information Bureau, House of Representatives; Alvin Blanco, engineer and chief, Broadcast Services Division, NTC; and Ricardo Ebarle Jr., engineer NTC

A party-list lawmaker on Thursday welcomed the support of the House Committee on Public Information after it approved his proposed House Bill 4049 that would allow live broadcasting of all proceedings of the chamber over government-run PTV-4.

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“This bill will bring Congress closer to the people and at the same time promote transparency. This will also encourage our fellow members to attend and actively participate in floor deliberations of important bills and resolutions,” Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said during a meeting of the Committee on Public Information presided over by vice chairman Leopoldo Bataoil from the 2nd District of Pangasinan.

Atienza filed House Bill 4049 one year ago, calling for the showing of live proceedings of the sessions and committee hearings of the Senate and the House of Representatives from gavel to gavel on PTV-4.

He said that just like C-Span in the United States, the Philippines needs to have that kind of “unprecedented access to its officials.”

The bill seeks to amend Section 9 of the PTV-4 Charter, Republic Act 7306, adding to its functions the showing of live proceedings of both Houses without editing or commentary.

“We would also like to thank the National Telecommunications Commission,[PTV-4] and the Public Relations and Information Bureau of the House for their full support for our bill. We will be working closely with these agencies to discuss the technical aspects as well as budgetary requirements needed for smooth implementation once the bill becomes law,” Atienza said in a statement.

He pointed out that televising the proceedings would also eliminate the practice of practically railroading bills on 2nd and 3rd reading without the benefit of any interpellation and debates.

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