The new charter for PTV-4 provides for a fresh capital infusion of P5 billion.
Out of this, P3 billion would be sourced from the General Appropriations Act in the next 3 years -- P1 billion every year.
The P2 billion remainder will be sourced from revenue generated from advertising and airtime sales.
“So it was important that the new law provided for new capitalization and permitted the network to generate commercial revenues, so that there will be a stable source of sustenance for the network,” Coloma stressed.
These provisions were the subject of a complaint expressed in December 2012 by Felipe L. Gozon, chair of GMA-7 operator GMA Network Inc.
Gozon had said it is "very unfair" that PTV-4 will receive funds from the national budget derived from the taxes collected from and paid by taxpayers, which include commercial broadcasters.
While receiving subsidies from the taxes and fees paid by broadcasting institutions, the network will be competing with the same companies for the source of income providing the said funds: commercial ads and airtime.
Gozon had claimed that PTV-4 will have the upper hand in competing with the private sector in terms of generating ad revenue since the state-funded competitor can provide airtime value at lower rates, which may diminish the ability of private broadcasters to attract ad revenues.
“If they want to sell airtime then they have to remove the subsidy. We pay billions in taxes and part of those taxes will be used by PTV 4,” stressed Gozon.
He said that the new law will “also enable the network to keep abreast with latest technological developments” such as digital television and transmission upgrades to improve signal quality.
“We all know that by 2015, the ASEAN standard will be digital television. We have made some acquisitions of basic digital equipment in our studios now but we need to do more. Of course, we are still awaiting the promulgation of official policy on digital television but we’re confident that we can keep abreast with the rest of ASEAN and with the commercial broadcasting industry,” Coloma said.
“Because when digital transmission is fully in place, we will also be able to multiply the channels of government television -- from one free TV station to at least two more cable stations -- and we may be able to dedicate the cable stations to educational programming or cultural programming. There are also those who say that we should have programs on Philippine history and culture,” he said.
RA 103901 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3316 and House Bill No. 6703 passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on January 21, 2013 and December 19, 2012, respectively. - Rappler.com