TV5 franchise extension gets House approval

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THE House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the renewal of the legislative franchise of ABC Development Corp., currently known as TV5 Network, Inc.

House bill no. 8630, which extends the broadcast operations of TV5 by another 25 years, received 207 affirmative votes and one negative vote.

TV5 mainly airs sports programs, through ESPN, and news programs, through News5. TV5 also caters to overseas Filipino audiences through Kapatid International.

Once HB 8630 is signed into law, TV5 can continue to operate and maintain its radio and television broadcasting facilities in the Philippines.

Under the measure, TV5 is required to provide the government with adequate public service time or a maximum aggregate of 10% of the paid commercials or advertisements.

The network is prohibited from broadcasting obscenity, indecent language, speech and the like, as well as the deliberate dissemination of false information.

Under the bill, the Philippine President is given the right to temporarily take over and operate the TV station and its facilities; to temporarily suspend its operations in interest of public safety, security and public welfare; and to authorize the temporary use and operation of any government agency in times of “war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster, or disturbance of peace and order.”

In compliance with the Constitutional provision promoting public participation in public utilities, TV5 is required to conduct a public offering of at least 30% of its outstanding capital stock within five years from commencement of operations.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — C.A.Tadalan