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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signs renewal of Philippine Broadcasting Corp.’s franchise

  • Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signs the extension of the Philippine Broadcasting Corporation for another 25 years in service
  • Various broadcasting mediums were already signed for renewal, except for ABS-CBN Corp’s franchise
  • Extensions were made for another 25 years to continue on giving broadcasting service to the public

The Philippine Broadcasting Corporation, also known by its government agency, Bureau of Broadcast Services (BBS), is a radio network in the Philippines and is owned by the government under the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

Recently, on March 08, Duterte signed its renewal under Republic Act 11240, a law extending the franchise of the Philippine Broadcasting Corporation for another 25 years. It shall be deemed revoked in the event PBC fails to operate continuously for two years.

In addition, PBC is required to secure from the National Telecommunications Commission the needed permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its facilities and shall not use any frequency in the radio or television spectrum if there is no authorization from the NTC.

Other broadcasting mediums that were renewed include the franchise of Republic Broadcasting System, Inc., otherwise known as GMA Network. It had its renewal on April 21, 2017, as Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10925, a law extending the franchise for 25 years. The law also requires the Kapuso Network to provide free public-service time that is equivalent to 10% of all its ad time to the government in relaying important public announcements and warnings. It added that the network is as well required to make closed captioning available for its programs.

Also, the franchise extension of ABC Development Corp., currently known as TV5 Network Inc., had its extension on November 4, 2018. Duterte signed House Bill no. 8630 which extended the broadcast operations of TV5 by another 25 years, after receiving 207 affirmative votes and one negative vote.  Under the law, TV5 is required to provide adequate public service time or a maximum aggregate of 10% of the paid commercials or advertisement to the government. It is prohibited from broadcasting obscenity, indecent language, speech and the like, as well as the deliberate dissemination of false information. The President is also given the right to temporarily take over and operate the TV station and its facilities. Also, it is required to conduct a public offering of at least 30% of its outstanding capital stock within five years from the commencement of operations.

The franchise of Manila Broadcasting Co., one of the country’s largest radio operators, had its renewal on October 30, 2018, as Duterte signed Republic Act 11109, an extension for another 25 years. It operates various radio stations, including DZRH, Love Radio, and Yes FM. On the same date RA Nos. 111110 and 11111 were also signed as a renewal to the franchise of Bright Star Broadcasting Network Corp. and Vanguard Radio Network Company Inc., respectively. Bright Star operates like FM 105.9 while Vanguard owns Big Sound FM 95.9.

On February 22, 2019, Duterte signed Republic Act 11226, a law renewing the telecommunications franchise granted to Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. (PHILCOMSAT) for another 25 years. PhilComSat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippine Telecommunication Corp. (POTC). The law includes the right to conduct cable and wireless operations, such as telephone, mobile, cellular, and wired or wireless telecommunication systems. To improve and extend its services in areas not yet served, as well as areas that are hazard- and typhoon-prone. It is required to allow for mobile number portability (MNP) and is prohibited from installing features or functions that will impede the nationwide MNP system.

Meanwhile, the University of Mindanao Broadcasting Network franchise also won an extension under Republic Act No. 11238.  The law entailed providing public service time equivalent to 10% of paid commercials or advertisements, to enable the government to issue announcements in times of emergencies and calamities. It allows the UM to construct, install, operate, and maintain radio and television stations.

However, till this very time, ABS-CBN Network still did not have its renewal, which will be expecting its expiration in the coming year 2020. President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he would not comply and object to the renewal of ABS-CBN Corp’s franchise. It was previously raised that the President’s renewal allegations from the 2016 campaign disclosed that the network did not air an ad that he paid for and instead showed a TV spot that was criticizing him and was paid for by his critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes.


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