Senate approves PTV 4 charter on third reading

Senators have approved a bill infusing P6 billion capital stock to People’s Television (PTV) 4 on third reading on Monday.

Sponsored by Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Senate Bill No. 3316 hurdled the final reading that will allow the state media network to continue its operations.

"People always thought of PTV 4 as a television network pushing for the government's various political agendas. Instead, state media should be open media, providing accurate data and inviting inputs from outside sources," Honasan said.

“The infusion of P5 billion into the company's capital, breathes new life into a network with an enhanced corporate structure that gives information straight from the source, while encouraging the flow of communication from the grassroots and the stakeholders," he added.

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Honasan, chair of Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, explained the infusion of P5 billion into PTV4’s capital will allow it to run on its own power by generating its own funds.

He explained the government-run network will be able to make its own money from commercial advertisements and airtime sales.

The measure provides for P2 billion to be sourced from the incremental increases of the spectrum user's fee of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

It also prescribes for another P2 billion to come from the proceeds of the privatization of Radio Philippines Network, Inc. (RPN 9) and the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC 13).

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Honasan noted the government will allot P1 billion in the General Appropriations Act next year.

Senator Loren Legarda, a former TV broadcaster, said the legislation will give PTV 4 board the authority to implement a reorganization of the network 90 days from enactment of the law.

"The lack of resources has taken its toll on the network, and allowing it to generate funds from advertising and airtime sales--which will be used solely for its operations and expenditures--will surely bring back the prestige it has been known for, 20 years ago," Legarda said.

PTV 4 was established in 1974 under the name Government Television (GTV-4), receiving Best Station and the station with the Most Balanced Programming in 1987 and 1989.

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