IBC-13, a state-owned and -funded TV station, risks closure if no budget for it will be allocated in the 2023 budget, said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles on Friday (September 2).
She said that of the P1.2 billion budget allocated for the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), none would be given to IBC-13. Without the funding, the TV station will have to shut down by as early as January next year.
“Humingi po kami sa Personal Services, MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) at Capital Outlay para maituloy natin ang pag-broadcast ng IBC pero na-zero po sila completely,” the press secretary revealed during the hearing of the House Appropriations Committee.
(We asked for Personal Services, Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses, and Capital Outlay to continue our broadcast of IBC but they were given zero budget.)
IBC President, Hexilon Alvarez, said on ABS-CBN TeleRadyo that the closure of IBC-13 will affect the lives of its 300 employees and more than a hundred retirees since it has “outstanding obligations” not just to their employees but to their retirees as well as mandated in their collective bargaining agreement.
“We have about 146 retirees. And with whatever resources we have, [we] are trying to pay them off a staggered basis, monthly,” said Alvarez.
“If this would be the case, 300 lives plus their families would be detrimentally affected and we would have a very difficult time,” Alvarez added.
Meanwhile, IBC-13 Employees’ Union president, Alberto Liboon, is calling on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intervene and not let the closure of their network.
“Pakiusap po namin kay Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, sana matulungan po kami … Huwag po sana ipasara para magpatuloy po kami sa pagseserbisyo sa bayan,” Liboon said.
(We are begging President Bongbong Marcos, please help us... Please don't shut it [IBC-13] down so we can continue serving the people.)
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.
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