Davao receives broadcast franchise
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed laws granting a 25-year broadcast franchise to five entities, including the Davao City government, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
Duterte on May 18 inked Republic Acts 11538, 11539, 11541, and 11542 which give Davao City government, Instant Data Inc., Palawan Broadcasting Corp., and Highland Broadcasting Network Corp., respectively, a congressional franchise for a period of 25 years.
RA 11540, also signed on May 18, renews the University of the Philippines’ 25-year franchise to operate radio and television broadcasting stations within the campus premises for educational purposes.
The Davao City local government, according to RA 11538, has been granted a franchise to construct, install, operate, and maintain radio broadcasting stations in the city.
The Instant Data Inc., on the other hand, has been granted a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain telecommunications systems nationwide, based on RA 11539.
Under RA 11541, a legislative franchise has been given to Palawan Broadcasting to enable the company to operate radio and television broadcasting stations throughout the country.
RA 11542 likewise allows Highland Broadcasting Network Corp. to start its radio and television broadcasts in Mindanao.
The grantees are prohibited from selling, leasing, transferring, granting the usufruct, and assigning their franchise or their acquired rights and privileges to any person, firm, company, corporation, or other commercial or legal entity.
They are also mandated to submit an annual report on its compliance with the terms and conditions of the franchise and its operations to Congress, through the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and The Senate Committee on Public Services on or before April 30 of every year during the term of its franchises.
The annual report shall include an update on the rollout, development, operation, or expansion; audited financial statements; and certification of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on the status of the grantee’s permits and operations.
The reportorial compliance certificate issued by Congress shall be required before any application for permit or certificate is accepted by the NTC.
The newly-signed laws take effect 15 days after their publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.
Malacañang released a copy of the laws on Thursday.
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