MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is bent on privatizing the two sequestered television stations, RPN-9 and IBC-13, Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office told congressmen.
“We will privatize these two networks because government is not in the business of operating multiple TV stations,” he said.
He said what would remain after the sale of RPN-9 and IBC-13 would be the original government TV station, People’s Television Network 4.
Since the administration of President Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, the government has been unsuccessfully trying to sell the two sequestered networks.
Every administration since the Marcos regime has installed its own boards of directors in the two networks.
Coloma indicated that it would take some time before the two broadcasting networks surrendered by a Marcos crony could be sold.
“We are still studying the best options and the financial and legal problems with regard to their privatization,” he said.
Reps. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City reminded Coloma to protect the rights of employees who would be affected by the privatization.
Evardone, a former journalist, said he received information that many of retirees of the two sequestered TV stations have not been paid their benefits.
Coloma promised to relay the two lawmakers’ concerns to the networks’ boards of directors.
He said his office has administrative supervision over the networks, but it is their boards that control their operations.
As for PTV-4, Coloma said it has acquired a new transmission system to make it competitive with private networks.
“It has to revise its programs so it can attract advertisers to make it self-sustaining since there is no plan to give it government subsidy in 2011,” he said.
There is grumbling among PTV-4 employees about alleged mismanagement and fund mishandling by their bosses. They have been picketing their offices
Jesse Diaz, Philippine Star