Republic Act 11319, which renews for another 25 years the franchise of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Inc., is also among the measures that lapsed into law.
TV5, CBCP franchises allowed to lapse into law
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has allowed a measure that will extend the franchise granted to ABC Development Corp., presently known as TV5 Network Inc., for another 25 years to lapse into law.

Republic Act 11319, which renews for another 25 years the franchise of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Inc., is also among the measures that lapsed into law.

In both franchises, the Philippine government is given a special right to temporarily take over and operate the stations or facilities of the grantee in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbance of peace and order. Similar provisions are also included in franchises granted by Congress to other TV and radio stations.

Asked if the franchise for ABS-CBN will also be renewed, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo noted that the extension of franchises granted to TV and radio networks of ABS-CBN have yet to pass the upcoming 18th Congress.?Duterte has openly attacked the network for its alleged political bias. Its franchise will expire next year.

As part of granting the 25-year extension of franchise for TV5 and CBCP, the measures outlined provisions and conditions where the government may revoke their franchises.

“The radio spectrum is a finite resource that is part of the national patrimony and the use thereof is a privilege conferred upon the grantee by the State, and may be withdrawn any time after due process,” read the franchise’s Section 5 on the Right of Government.

Under the provision, the government can temporarily suspend the operation of any station or facility in the interest of public safety or authorize its temporary use and operation by any agency of the government upon compensation to the grantee.

The salient provisions also include self-regulation, wherein the grantee “shall not require any previous censorship of any speech, play, act or scene or other matter to be broadcast from its stations.”

It also provides that the grantee, “during any broadcast, shall cut off from the air the speech, play, act or scene or other matter being broadcast if the tendency, thereof, is to propose or incite treason, rebellion or sedition.”

The self-regulation clause includes the ban on language or theme that might be indecent or immoral and provides that “willful failure to do so shall constitute a valid cause of the cancelation of this franchise.”

The other franchises that were technically approved include the ones granted to the RMC Broadcasting Corp. (Rizal Memorial Colleges Broadcasting Corp.); Advanced Media Broadcasting System Inc.; PBN Broadcasting Network Inc.; Andres Bonifacio College Broadcasting System Inc.; Insular Broadcasting System Inc.; Cebu Broadcasting Co.; Radio Marine Network; First Love Broadcasting Network Inc.; and Tirad Pass Radio-TV Broadcasting Network Inc.

Meanwhile, the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has approved a settlement deal that allows the ABS-CBN News Channel (formerly Sarimanok News Network Inc.) to pay only P17.837 million in taxes for 2009 or five times less than the original P97.079 million assessed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

In a 12-page resolution promulgated on July 8, the CTA Special First Division granted the BIR and Sarimanok’s joint motion for approval of compromise agreement that was entered into last year. – With Elizabeth Marcelo

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