State TV to earn from commercials under approved Senate bill

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MANILA -- Soon gone are the days when state-run People's Television Network, Inc. (PTV4) is barred from generating funds from commercial advertisements and airtime sales as a bill to lift the ban sailed through the Senate on Monday.

Approved on third and final reading is Senate Bill 3316, which also provides for the infusion of P5 billion into PTV 4's capital.

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

The bill proposes a 100 percent 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 measure, which also gives the board the authority to implement a reorganization of the network 90 days from enactment of the law, was co-sponsored by Senators Gregorio Honasan II and Loren Legarda.

"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.

Legarda, a former broadcast journalist, said PTV 4's fresh funding "will surely bring back the prestige it has been known for 20 years ago," having won awards such as the Best Station and the station with the Most Balanced Programming from 1987 to 1989.

It also got a citation from then President Fidel Ramos.

PTV 4 began its operations in 1974 under the name Government Television (GTV-4). (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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