Press Release
December 10, 2012

Senate breathes new life to PTV 4

The Senate today approved on third and final reading a bill allowing the People's Television Network, Inc. (PTV 4) to continue its operations.

Sponsored by Senator Gregorio Honasan, chair of the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, and co-sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda, Senate Bill No. 3316 calls for the infusion of P5 billion into PTV 4's capital, for a total capital stock of P6 billion, and will also allow it to run on its own power by generating funds from commercial advertisements and airtime sales.

"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.

"Approval of this measure, and 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.

Legarda lauded the approval of the measure, saying that it was "high time to resuscitate the information mechanisms of the government."

According to the measure, P2 billion will be sourced from the incremental increases of the spectrum user's fee of the National Telecommunications Commission; P2 billion will come from the proceeds of the privatization of Radio Philippines Network, Inc. (RPN 9) and the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC 13), both co-owned by the government while the remaining P1 billion will be provided for in the General Appropriations Act of 2013.

The bill also proposes a 100% tax deduction from gifts and donations of real and personal properties of all kinds to the network if the said donation is exclusively used for the production of educational, cultural and historical films and documentaries.

"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.

The bill also gives the board the authority to implement a reorganization of the network 90 days from enactment of the law.

PTV 4 began its operations in 1974 under the name Government Television (GTV-4). From 1987 to 1989, the network received awards such as Best Station and the station with the Most Balanced Programming. It has also received a presidential citation from former President Fidel V. Ramos. (YVONNE ALMIRANEZ, PRIB)

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