MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed numerous bills renewing five broadcast companies'…
Bills authorizing a 25-year franchise for NCCP and 10 companies became law.
At least 11 bills that would have granted the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and 10 other companies a 25-year congressional franchise have now become law.
Without his signature, former president Rodrigo Duterte allowed the laws to expire on June 2.
Prime Broadcasting Network Inc. and NCCP, respectively, have a 25-year franchise to build, install, create, run, and maintain radio and television broadcasting stations in the nation thanks to Republic Acts (RAs) 11833 and 11834.
Contrarily, RA 11839 gives GVM Radio/TV Corp. a 25-year license to build, install, set up, run, and manage radio transmitting stations in Cebu City and other parts of the nation.
According to the law, the grantee must obtain the necessary licenses and licenses from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in order to build and run their stations or facilities.
On the other hand, the NTC is not allowed to “unreasonably” withhold or postpone issuing permits and licenses.
The statutes allow the NTC the power to suspend or revoke the grantee’s permits or licenses after due process if they violate the terms of the franchise.
The NTC may suggest to Congress that the franchise be revoked.
If the grantees do not continue to operate for a period of two years, the franchise shall be declared ipso facto (by the fact itself) canceled.
The laws require the broadcasting companies to provide free and sufficient public service time that is reasonable and sufficient to allow the government to communicate with the relevant populations about important issues of public concern and to relay important public announcements and warnings regarding public emergencies and calamities, as necessity, urgency, or the law may require, through the broadcasting stations or facilities.
When allocating public service time, consideration shall be given to the needs of the executive and legislative branches, the judiciary, Constitutional commissions, and international humanitarian organizations. Public service time shall be equivalent to a maximum aggregate of 10% of paid commercials or advertisements.
According to the law, “in times of war, insurrection, public hazard, calamity, emergency, disaster, or disruption of peace and order,” the Philippine president is granted the “special right” to temporarily take over and run the grantees’ stations or facilities.
The president of the Philippines has the power to halt any station’s operations “in the interest of public safety, security, and public welfare.”
The franchise may not be sold, leased, transferred, granted, or assigned by the grantees to any person, business, corporation, or other kind of commercial or legal entity.
Additionally, they are required to provide Congress with an annual report on their activities and compliance with the franchise’s terms and conditions.
In addition to audited financial statements, the most recent General Information Sheet officially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), if applicable, certification from the NTC on the status of its permits and operations, and an update on the distribution of ownership and undertaking, if applicable, must all be included in the annual report.
Before any application for a permission or certificate is approved by the NTC, the reportorial compliance certificate granted by Congress will be necessary.
services for telecommunications
Aspire Media Technologies and Ventures Inc., Linkserve Telecommunications Network, Inc., and Purple Flower Telecommunication Corp. were also given permission by Duterte to build, install, establish, operate, and maintain telecommunications services for a period of 25 years through RAs 11829, 11832, 11835, 11837, and 11838.
The 25-year legislative franchises of Lukban Telephone System Inc., Continental Telecommunications System Inc., and General Telephone System Inc. were renewed by the signing of RAs 11830, 11831, and 11836.
The regulations permit grantees to run wired and wireless telecommunications networks for profit and for the good of the public.
Grantees must adhere to business ethics and refrain from using the stations or facilities for obscene or indecent transmission, the spread of purposefully false information, wilful deception, or participation in subversive or treasonous activities.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, or its legal successor, in collaboration with the NTC, should assess which areas are hazard- and typhoon-prone and where services should be expanded and improved.
The NTC must approve all fees and rates for Iriga Telephone Company Inc.’s telecommunications services, with the exception of those that may be declared or regarded as non-regulated services. These fees and rates may be flat rates, measured rates, or variations.
The laws were made public on Friday.