Senate approves bills on TV, radio franchises

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Senate approves bills on TV, radio franchises
5 networks can operate for 25 more years, subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by Congress

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday, December 7 approved on third and final reading 5 local bills on the franchise renewal of several radio and television broadcasting services.

Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III, acting chairman of the committee on public services said the passage of House Bills No. 5531,  5532, 5391, 5226, and 5227 into law would allow the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), Interactive Broadcast Media Incorporated (IBMI), Aliw Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Christian Era Broadcasting Service International Incorporated (CEBSI), and Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) to continue their operation for another 25 years, subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by Congress.

RMN is a radio network in the country with almost 60 company-owned AM & FM radio stations located around the Philippines.

IBMI, an affiliate of RMN, operates DWWW (774 AM).

ABC, meanwhile, currently runs 13 radio stations in the country. Its flagship radio stations are DWIZ 882 AM and Home Radio Network. DWIZ 882 is one of the few AM radio stations authorized to operate a 50,000-watt transmitter in Mega Manila.

CEBSI, formerly known as Christian Broadcasting Service, is the broadcast arm of Iglesia ni Cristo. It is a sister company of NET 25, which owns DZEC and Pinas FM 95.5.

CEBSI has partnered with NET 25, the television station of EBC, for the digital transmission of the network’s high-definition content.

Osmeña said the continued operation of the 5 radio and television networks would generate additional jobs, create career opportunities, and continue “to provide the Filipino people with additional access to information to help them in their daily lives.”

“Radio and television continue to deliver effective means of educating our people and keeping them informed despite the advancement of the internet as our primary databank of information,” he said.

He added that broadcast media is particularly important in areas where reliable internet connection is lacking. (READ: New Internet speed minimum throwback to ’90s?)

Osmeña said the 5 networks had complied with the requirements prescribed by law, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Telecommunications Commission also have no objection to the renewal of the 5 networks’ franchises.

Mass media is one of the areas of economic activity where foreign ownership is prohibited or limited by the Constitution or laws. (READ: Aquino retains foreign investments limitations) –  

Telecommunication mast TV antennas image from Shutterstock

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