/ 12 March 2021

SENATOR Grace Poe urged broadcast firms in the country to help Filipino students in their education by giving support to 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,” the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services said.

“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 said.

At the same time, the senator reminded broadcast firms, especially those seeking renewal or applying for a franchise, about their responsibility to the public.

“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.

The Senate Committee on Public Services 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, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

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 given franchise.

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.

Also seeking franchise renewal is the University of the Philippines’ broadcast station which was first given a franchise in 1995.