The House Committee on Legislative Franchises, chaired by Palawan first district Rep. Franz Alvarez, approved House Bill (HB) 5404 which will renew the Presidential Communications and Operations Office’s (PCOO) Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) television network franchise for another 25 years.
House Ways and Means Chair and Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda who authored HB 5404 seeks to have the IBC expanded to play a role in disaster preparedness and participative governance and as a means to have the state reclaim some stake in the media.
“We have long abdicated that role of direct public assistance to private broadcasters who make money out of this mission. We should reclaim some of that space through the IBC,” Salceda added.
“I envision IBC TV and state media in general to play a more significant role in disaster preparedness. As being close to the organs of government, the station is uniquely positioned to be the first source of government announcements, requests, and instructions…The airing of the Laging Handa briefings in the network is a prime example of what can be sustained as it repurposes,” Salceda said to the press on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
He also proposed that the network be used as an avenue to assist in remote learning and as a way for citizens to question and interact with public officials.
“In this role, the IBC can be a ‘tanungan at sumbungan’ for the public. We could even create programs in line with the thrusts of Hotline 8888 or the Presidential Complaint Center. We can have programs where members of the public can call in to express their concerns, and have them addressed by their officials,” he explained.
Under the approval, the IBC’s franchise which is set to operate until September 2025 may be renewed until 2050.