House OKs bill renewing IBC-13 franchise

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill granting government-owned Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) another 25-year franchise.

Two hundred seventy-two lawmakers voted in favor of House Bil 6505, with no negative vote or abstentions.

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

The state-run broadcaster has five provincial TV stations, with four relay stations and 11 provincial radio stations.

“The role of the broadcasting organization in serving the needs of the public and clients in information, education and entertainment for the Filipino viewers should be given the utmost recognition since the services they perform to all classes of viewers, in general, is beyond qualification,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

The bill authorizes IBC-13 to use digital television systems via microwave, satellite, or any other means, and any new technology in radio and television systems, along with the corresponding technological auxiliaries and facilities, special broadcast and other program and distribution services, and relay stations.

Likewise, it mandates constructing and operating its stations with minimum interference on the wavelengths or frequencies of existing or future stations without diminishing the quality of its transmission or reception to ensure maximum rendition and availability of its services.

IBC-13 must obtain the necessary permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its facilities from the National Telecommunications Commission, which may recommend to Congress that IBC-13’s franchise be revoked for violations of its provisions.

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