Press Release
March 9, 2022

Poe: Broadcast, telecom are different services that require separate franchises

Sen. Grace Poe has suspended discussions on the franchise application of a broadcast network to clearly delineate first the scope of its franchise application.

In its presentation at the hearing of the Senate committee on public services, Oro Broadcasting Network Inc. said the renewal of its franchise will allow it to continue to inform communities and empower communications in remote areas without WiFi.

Oro Broadcasting was granted a franchise to broadcast nationwide in 1996 and sought a renewal of its franchise in August 2021, a month before its franchise expired. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it has no record of Oro Broadcasting operations for some years.

"It seems like we need to look further into this, on the details of this franchise application, because of certain irregularities—I'm not saying that there's anything illegal. I'm just saying that we'll need to be able to answer these questions before we can continue deliberating on the franchise application," Poe said.

Broadcasting and telecommunications are different services that require separate franchises.

"You cannot have broadcast and telecom unless there are two separate franchises granted to you," Poe advised Oro Broadcasting.

The senator recognized the importance of broadcast media in information dissemination, especially in unserved and underserved areas, including providing paperless billing. However, a business plan that glosses over the limitations of a franchise could be problematic.

"This chairperson is for the expansion of broadcast services in unserved and underserved areas. But all of these have to be above board, and they must have the capability to provide that service," Poe said.

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