Government expects P2 B from IBC-13 sale
Prinz Magtulis (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has approved the sale of state-owned broadcast network International Broadcasting Corp. 13 (IBC-13), the Governance Commission on GOCC said yesterday.

“The privatization of IBC-13 will be done through public bidding with an estimated floor price of P1.977 billion,” the GCG said in a statement.

Herminio Coloma Jr., secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, said the target is for IBC-13 to “be bid out before the end of President Aquino’s term by June.”

IBC-13, which began in 1960, was part of the Marcos-era sequestered assets by the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

According to the GCG, the privatization of IBC-13 will “rationalize” the government’s exposure in the media industry, which includes operating the Philippine Television Network Inc. (PTV-4).

Bidding proceeds will fund additional capital for PTV-4 mandated under Republic Act 10390 enacted in March 2013.

Aside from PTV-4, the government also holds minority stake in Radio Philippines Network or RPN-9.

PTV-4, the GCG said, already acts as a “sufficient” channel to disseminate free, non-profit driven public information, thus making IBC-13 an “overlap.”

The TV network is also putting stress on the government’s balance sheet. The network’s net losses averaged P45.26 million from 2010 to 2014 despite receiving subsidies totaling P23.56 million last year.

“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 private entity,” GCG pointed out.

“The GOCC is involved in an activity best carried out by the private sector,” it added.

Sought for comment, Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Holdings Inc., said existing media players may find the additional bandwidth offered by IBC-13 attractive.

“IBC-13 also has assets like the land. It’s not totally bankrupt. So definitely, there is still market for it,” Del Castillo said in a phone interview.

Officials from broadcast networks GMA Network, Inc., ABS-CBN Corp. and MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. that owns TV-5, were not immediately available for comment.

GCG was established by virtue of RA 10149, enacted in 2011, after Aquino lambasted certain GOCCs for giving out large bonuses to executives despite under-performing.

Since then, GCG said it already succeeded on shuttering 22 “non-performing” GOCCs, while classifying 25 others as “inactive.”

ACIRC DEL CASTILLO FIRST GRADE HOLDINGS INC GOOD GOVERNMENT GOVERNANCE COMMISSION HERMINIO COLOMA JR. IBC INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING CORP NETWORK PHILIPPINE TELEVISION NETWORK INC PRESIDENT AQUINO
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