Quimbo calls IBC-13 situation a 'big problem'

The whole IBC-13 situation is a "big problem", Marikina City 2nd district Rep. Stella Quimbo admitted on Tuesday, Sept. 27 as House members brace for last-minute realignments in next year's P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

Marikina City 2nd district Rep. Stella Quimbo (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The state-run network currently has zero allocation under the 2023 GAB. If it stays that way, IBC-13 would have to close shop by June 2023, leaving nearly 200 people jobless.

And the problem doesn't end there.

"Ang estimate ay in six months' time ay kailangan nang magsara ang IBC (The estimate is that IBC must close down in six months' time). But the problem is, pag isara mo by June 2023, hindi naman siya maibebenta (even if you close it by June, you won't be able to sell it). Bakit? May isang batas na magsasabi na ang minimum sales proceeds from privatization ay P2 billion (Why? There's a law that says the minimum sales proceeds from privatization should be P2 billion)," Quimbo said during the Tuesday's Ugnayan sa Batasan News Forum.

She previously said that the rationale for the executive branch's decision not to fund IBC-13 was its planned privatization. But the current value of the network simply can't reach P2 billion, the lady solon said.

"But right now, ang mangyayari, matetengga siya (what will happen is, it will get put on hold). So kung magsasara siya by June 2023, hindi mo rin siya mabebenta (If it closes down by June 2023, you still won't be able to sell it). In order words, you'll be left with stranded assets.

"So ang totoo, isa siyang malaking problema. But again, kailangang pag-isipan ng mabuti kung ano ang pwedeng gawin moving forward (So in truth, it's one big problem. But again, we need to think about what we can do moving forward)," added the senior vice chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations.


On Wednesday, Sept. 28, the House of Representatives will approve the GAB on third and final reading. Before this, the solon will make amendments to the budget bill wherein they can take away funds from one item and allocate them to another item.

While IBC-13's fate is up to the "wisdom of the Congress," Quimbo said some of the items in the budget proposal may be realigned.

"Halimbawa po, there are some items na hindi namin maintindihan bakit may ganong klaseng expected spending. Kailangan daw halimbawa magbayad ng taxes on certain items pero sa tingin naman namin, tax exempt (For example, there are items that, for us, have unreasonable level of expected spending. For example, they supposedly need to pay taxes on certain items but we think they're tax exempt)," she said.

"Or number two, meron mga items na ang laki ng appropriation, pero based on historical performance, hindi naman talaga naa-absorb ng agency yung ganoong kalaking pondo all in one year (Or number two, there are items that have a huge appropriation, but based on historical performance, that agency can't absorb that big of a funding all in one year)," noted Quimbo.

"'Yun ang sa tingin kong two examples na pwedeng pagkunan ng pandagdag doon sa items na walang pondo (Those are two examples of areas where we can get funds to augment the unfunded items)," she also said.