House Launches Dedicated TV Channel for Legislative Sessions

House Leaders led by Speaker Martin Romualdez and PTV General Manager Analisa Puod launch Congress TV at the House of Representatives on Monday. Romualdez said that the channel will be a "bridge" that would connect the halls of House of Representatives to "to every home, every school, and every Filipino." PHOTO BY RED MENDOZA
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The House of Representatives has taken a significant step towards enhancing transparency and inclusivity by launching Congress TV, a dedicated television channel for the broadcast of legislative sessions and hearings. This new initiative is inspired by the successful models of the United States’ C-Span and other parliamentary broadcast channels in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The aim is to provide the Filipino people with live, unedited, and commercial-free coverage of the inner workings of their government.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez expressed his enthusiasm for Congress TV, describing it as a “bridge” that will connect the halls of the lower House to every home, school, and Filipino citizen. Romualdez emphasized that this channel is built on the pillars of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, ensuring that no Filipino will be left in the dark about the legislative process. It is a testament to the chamber’s commitment to giving every citizen a front-row seat to the decision-making that shapes their country.

Through Congress TV, the House of Representatives aims to tear down the walls that have long kept the inner workings of the legislature away from public scrutiny. By providing access to live broadcasts of sessions and hearings, the channel will enable citizens to witness firsthand the discussions, debates, and decision-making processes that shape the laws of the land.

To ensure widespread access, Congress TV will be available through the digital TV signal of the state-run People’s Television network. Currently, the signal is available in Metro Manila, Cordillera, Cebu, Davao, Naga, and Guimaras. However, efforts are underway to improve the network’s signal reach, which has been hampering the ratings of its broadcasts, including Congress TV. People’s Television Network General Manager Analisa Puod acknowledged the need to address this issue, stating that the network is working on replacing analog transmitters with digital ones. Support from the House of Representatives in this endeavor would be greatly appreciated.

In addition to live coverage, Congress TV will also air catch-up coverage of selected hearings and related programming when Congress is not in session. This ensures that citizens can stay informed about important discussions and decisions even when they are unable to watch live broadcasts. Furthermore, condensed sessions will be aired on state-owned IBC-13 on Saturdays and Sundays, providing an opportunity for those who may have missed the live broadcasts to catch up on key legislative activities.

The full-blown broadcast of Congress TV will commence on January 23, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This marks the beginning of a new era of legislative transparency in the Philippines, where the government is taking proactive steps to engage and involve its citizens in the decision-making process. With Congress TV, every Filipino will have the opportunity to stay informed, hold their elected representatives accountable, and actively participate in shaping the future of their nation.

In conclusion, the launch of Congress TV by the House of Representatives is a significant milestone in promoting transparency and inclusivity in the legislative process. By providing live, unedited, and commercial-free coverage of sessions and hearings, the channel ensures that no Filipino will be left in the dark about the decisions that affect their lives. This initiative is a testament to the government’s commitment to open and accountable governance, and it is a step towards empowering citizens to actively participate in shaping the future of their country.

Source: The Manila Times

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