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Legarda Calls for Creation of People’s Broadcasting Corp.

September 2, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has filed a bill that would establish the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), to replace the People’s Television Network, Inc. (PTNI).

Legarda, a former broadcast journalist, said that the rapidly evolving media landscape, together with the need for a reinvigorated government-owned broadcast station, necessitates the abolition of PTNI to be replaced by PBC, which will be granted both television and radio broadcasting rights.

“Under this measure, the proposed PBC will have its own charter to ensure its editorial independence and complete control over programming and content. It is envisioned to air radio and television programs distinct from those presently shown in commercial television stations,” said Legarda.

The Senator explained that under Senate Bill No. 913, the assets of the current Bureau of Broadcast Services, or Radyo ng Bayan, will be consolidated with that of PTNI. The PBC will be a government-owned and controlled corporation under a Board of Directors to be appointed by the President of the Philippines.

While the principal office and domicile will be in Metro Manila, there will be secondary broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao as well and branches may be established in other parts of the country as the Board of Directors may see fit.

The Board must set up a Code of Standards inclusive of the following aspects: presentation of news; public affairs programs and commentaries; public service programs; educational and children’s programs; agriculture and livelihood programs; women and youth issues; locally-produced and foreign produced programs; trade, service and manufacturing industry programs; disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation programs; and programs that inspire nationalism.

The PBC will have an authorized capital stock of P10 Billion. Congress would then be mandated to appropriate PBC a subsidy not more than its annual net earnings from the previous year until 2027.

Moreover, the PBC would be allowed to generate its own funds from advertising and airtime sales in accordance with the policies and rates set forth by the Board, subject to existing laws. All fees or other revenues collected or received by PBC shall be retained by it and utilized solely for its operations and capital expenditure program.