Press Release
March 11, 2021


Sen. Grace Poe called on broadcast firms seeking the renewal of their franchises to steadfastly carry out their role in enabling students across the country to benefit from distance learning.

"We must provide all the necessary support to our students, especially those whose only dependable access to learning is through the broadcast media at this time of pandemic," stressed Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services.

"Ibuhos natin lahat ng ating magagawa lalo na para sa ating mga mahihirap na mag-aaral upang sila ay matuto at hindi mapag-iwanan sa gitna ng kanilang kalagayan sa hagupit ng pandemya. Sila ang ating pag-asa," Poe reiterated.

The Senate committee on public services that Poe chairs is set to recommend to the plenary the approval of the renewal of the broadcast franchises that had no issues with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and upon their submission of the required clearances.

Poe's panel has adjourned its committee hearing on 13 broadcast firms' franchises on Wednesday (March 10), asking the franchise applicants to submit the remaining requirements they lack for the committee to be able to bring to plenary the approval of the franchise bills.

Broadcast franchise applicants are required to show proof that they are able to satisfactorily carry out their mandate and submit clearances such as those from the NTC, SEC, and the BIR to ensure that they have complied with the requirements to be deemed worthy of the franchise they seek.

"The grant of a franchise is not a right, but a privilege. New franchise applicants must establish that there is a public need for the service they propose to deliver and the means to adequately provide it. To those for renewal, treat the franchise not only as a privilege but also as a checklist of your obligations and commitments to the public," Poe said.

One of those seeking a new broadcast franchise is the City Government of Davao which gets its resources from Davao's disaster fund. The Davao City Radio Broadcasting Station had been operating since February 2020 focusing mainly on preparing communities for disasters such as floods and others.

Seeking franchise renewal is the University of the Philippines' (UP) broadcast station which was first given a franchise in 1995. Since the start of the pandemic, UP's station has been focusing on the dissemination of public information such as government issuances and advice on safe practices from the Philippine General Hospital. Recently, it has been providing updates on the COVID-19 vaccines.

Aside from the Davao City Radio Broadcasting Station and UP, franchise applicants also include: Rolin Broadcasting Enterprises Inc., Blockbuster Broadcasting System Inc., Tagbilaran Broadcasting System Inc., Servotron Industries Inc., Christian Music Power Inc., Allied Broadcasting Center Inc., Palawan Broadcasting Corp., St. Jude Thaddeus Institute of Technology Inc., Good News Sorsogon Foundation Inc., Baycomms Broadcasting Corp. and Highland Broadcasting Network.

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