IBC-13 nears franchise renewal

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed on second reading the bill renewing the 25-year franchise of state-run Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation, more popularly known as “IBC-13.”

It was approved viva voce during Wednesday’s plenary hearing.

The network’s franchise is still valid until 2 September 2025 and a fresh mandate would allow it to air up until 2050.

House Committee on Legislative Franchises chairperson Parañaque City 2nd District Representative Gus Tambunting and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda principally authored House Bill No. 6505.

The measure aims to renew the franchise granted to IBC-13 under Republic Act 8954 “to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio and television broadcasting stations in the Philippines.”

Citing Article II Section 24 of the Constitution, Tambunting stressed that the State acknowledges “the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.”

When schools across the country closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government used IBC-13 to air educational television programs of the Department of Education.

Since then, the station has been serving as the government’s primary remote learning platform.

“The vision of IBC-13 is to be the public children’s education network,” Tambunting said.

“The mission of IBC-13 is to inspire brilliant children towards a brighter tomorrow and a better Philippines. Distinguished members of the House of Representatives, I ask for approval of the franchise of IBC-13 for them to achieve their vision-mission for the Filipino people,” he added.

IBC-13, which was founded in 1959, currently has five provincial television stations and 11 provincial radio stations.

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