Aquino approves privatization of IBC-13
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the privatization of the government-owned Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) based on the recommendation of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).
The decision will trim the state’s portfolio in the communications sector. Officials said that IBC-13’s communication functions already overlap with that of another government-owned broadcaster, Media ng Bayan-PTV4.
“PTV-4 is already sufficient to address market failures in the private broadcast industry such as providing programs with social value but are not considered profitable. This comes in the wake of the recent revitalization of PTV-4 mandated by Republic Act No. 10390 which identified the privatization of IBC-13 as one of the sources of funding the increase in PTV-4’s capital,” the GCG said in a statement released on Monday, January 25.
IBC-13 was also in financial distress – operating at an average net loss of P 45.26 million ($942,425) from 2010 to 2014 and receiving operational subsidies amounting to P23.56 million ($490,577) in 2015.
“The privatization should pave the way for infusion of additional capital to revitalize the network, which will also be able to operate with more flexibility as a private entity,” the GCG added.
The privatization of IBC-13 will be done through public bidding with an estimated floor price of P1.977 billion ($41.16 million).
A committee composed of representatives from GCG, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and IBC-13 shall implement and conduct the process. IBC-13 is an attached agency of PCOO.
“The details of the bidding, including timelines for the privatization, will be issued in due course once the team shall have finalized the necessary documentary requirements, as mandated by law,” PCOO chief Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement on Tuesday, January 26.
Coloma said the floor price was arrived at based on consultations with the Department of Finance and Department of Budget and Management, including recommendations of the financial advisory team composed of the Development Bank of the Philippines, the auditing firm KPMG & Company and the law firm of Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & delos Angeles.
IBC-13 started out in 1960 as a private company known as Inter-Island Broadcasting Corporation, and then was sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government in 1986 as part of the recovery of ill-gotten wealth that was amassed under the Marcos regime.
It has been one of two broadcast networks considered as GOCCs aside from PTV-4. The government also has a minority share in Radio Philippines Network (RPN-9).
Since GCG’s establishment in 2011 as the central advisory and oversight body for ensuring the active exercise of the State’s ownership rights in GOCCs, it has abolished 22 non-performing GOCCs and classified 25 more as inactive or nonoperational. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P 48.02