Duterte pushes for law to make PTV-4 a public service broadcaster
(philstar.com) - July 26, 2016 - 5:46pm

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for a law that will transform state-run television station PTV-4 into a public service broadcaster to ensure its independence and to make it at par with international networks.

Duterte said the transformation would enable the network to attain editorial independence through “innovative programs and intelligent treatment and analysis” of news reports and important events.

“To better manage public information, a law should be passed. I’m addressing to Congress to create the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), replacing PTV-4, the government-run TV station, which now aims to replicate international government broadcasting networks,” the president said during his first state of the nation address last Monday.

Duterte said representatives from the British Broadcasting Corp. are set to visit the Philippines soon to train employees of government-run channels.

Government radio stations will also be upgraded to improve their delivery of services, the president added.

“The government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as Radyo ng Bayan, shall also undergo upgrading to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate, independent and enlightening news and commentary,” Duterte said.

“Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with the PBC,” he added.

The United Nations has been supportive of efforts to establish public service broadcasters, saying they provide the audience access to independent news reports and diverse views.  A public service broadcaster is usually funded by taxpayers’ money but is insulated from government, political and commercial pressures.

Proposals to transform PTV-4 into a public service broadcaster have been floated as early as 2005 but they were not carried out due to limited resources and the other priorities of previous administrations.

Duterte also bared plans to set up a Presidential Communications Satellite Office in Davao City and to establish the country’s first Muslim and Lumad channels.

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