Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-eighth day of July, two thousand three.
[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9278]
AN ACT GRANTING THE IVATAN FOUNDATION FOR DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATIONS INCORPORATED A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, INSTALL, ESTABLISH, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN RADIO BROADCASTING STATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF BATANES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled.
SECTION. 1. Nature and Scope of Franchise. â Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and applicable laws, rules and regulations, there is hereby granted to Ivatan Foundation for Development Communications Incorporated, hereunder referred to as the grantee, a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio broadcasting stations in the Province of Batanes, where frequencies and/or channels are still available for radio including the use of any new technologies in television and radio systems, with the corresponding technological auxiliaries and facilities, special broadcast and other program and distribution services and relay stations.
SEC. 2. Manner of Operation of Stations or Facilities. â The stations or facilities of the grantee shall be constructed and operated in a manner as will, at most, result only in the minimum interference on the wavelengths or frequencies of existing stations or other stations which may be established by law, without in any way diminishing its own right to use its selected wavelengths or frequencies and the quality of transmission or reception thereon as should maximize rendition of the grantee’s services and/or availability thereof. In no way shall the operators of the grantee, nor the radiated power of its stations or facilities, exceed that required to cover the area where it is allowed to operate.
SEC. 3. Prior Approval of the National Telecommunications Commission. â The grantee shall secure from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) the appropriate permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its stations and facilities and shall not use any frequency in the radio/television spectrum without having been authorized by the Commission. The Commission, however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of any such authority.
SEC. 4. Responsibility to the Public. â The grantee shall provide adequate public service time to enable the government, through the said broadcasting stations or facilities, to reach the population on important public issues; provide at all times sound and balanced programming; assist in the functions of public information and education; conform to the ethics of honest enterprise; and not use its stations and facilities for the broadcasting of obscene and indecent language, speech, act or scene; or for the dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation to the detriment of the public interest, or to incite, encourage or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.
SEC. 5. Right of Government. â A special right is hereby reserved to the President of the Philippines, in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbance of peace and order, to temporarily take over and operate the stations or facilities of the grantee, to temporarily suspend the operation of any station or facility in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare, or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any agency of the government, upon due compensation to the grantee, for the use of said stations or facilities during the period when they shall be so operated.
The radio spectrum in a finite resource that is part of the national patrimony and the use thereof is a privilege conferred upon the grantee by the State and may be withdrawn anytime after due process.
SEC. 6. Term of Franchise. â This franchise shall be for a term of twenty-five (25) years from the date of effectivity of this Act, unless sooner revoked or cancelled. This franchise shall be deemed ipso facto revoked in the event the grantee fails to comply with any of the following conditions:
a. Commence operations within one (1) year from the approval of its operating permit or provisional authority by the NTC;
b. Operate continuously for two (2) years; and
c. Commence operations within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act.
SEC. 7. Acceptance and Compliance. â Acceptance of this franchise shall be given in writing within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act. Upon giving such acceptance, the grantee shall exercise the privileges granted under this Act. Non-acceptance shall render the franchise void.
SEC. 8. Bond. â The grantee shall file a bond issued in favor of the NTC, which shall determine the amount, to guarantee the compliance with and fulfillment of the conditions under which this franchise is granted. If after three (3) years from the date of the approval of its permit by the Commission, the grantee shall have fulfilled the same, the bond shall be cancelled by the Commission. Otherwise, the bond shall be forfeited in favor of the government and the franchise ipso facto revoked.
SEC. 9. Self-regulation by and Undertaking of Grantee. â The Grantee shall not require any previous censorship of any speech, play, act or scene, or other matter to be broadcast from its stations: Provided, that the grantee, during any broadcast, shall cut-off from the air the speech, play, act or scene, or other matter being broadcast if the tendency thereof is to propose and/or incite treason, rebellion or sedition; or the language used therein or the theme thereof is indecent or immoral; and willful failure to do so shall constitute a valid cause for the cancellation of this franchise.
SEC. 10. Obligation of Grantee. â Any person aggrieved by any remark, report, statement, commentary or the like by broadcasters using the same facilities of the grantee shall have the right to reply in the same program or any other program the aggrieved party may choose.
SEC. 11. Warranty in Favor of National and Local Governments. â The grantee shall hold the national, provincial, city and municipal governments of the Philippines free from all claims, accounts, demands or actions arising out of accidents or injuries, whether to property or to persons, caused by the construction or operation of the stations of the grantee.
SEC. 12. Non-Transferability of Franchise. â The grantee shall not lease, transfer, grant the usufruct of, sell nor assign this franchise or the rights and privileges acquired thereunder to any person, firm, company, corporation or other commercial or legal entity, nor merge with any other corporation or entity, nor shall controlling interest of the grantee be transferred, whether as a whole or in parts and whether simultaneously or contemporaneously, to any such person, firm, company, corporation or entity.
SEC. 13. General Broadcaster Policy Law. â The grantee shall comply with and be subject to the provisions of a general broadcast policy law, which Congress may hereafter enact.
SEC. 14. Equality Clause. â Any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under existing franchises, or may hereafter be granted, shall ipso facto become part of this franchise and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the herein grantee: Provided, however, That the foregoing shall neither apply to nor affect provisions of broadcasting franchises concerning territory covered by the franchise, the life span of the franchise, or type of service authorized by the franchise.
SEC. 15. Reportorial Requirement. â The grantee shall submit an annual report to the Congress of the Philippines on its compliance with the terms and conditions of the franchise and on its operations within sixty (60) days from the end of every year.
SEC. 16. Separability Clause. â If any of the sections or provisions of this Act is held invalid, all other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid.
SEC. 17. Repealing and Nonexclusivity Clause. â This franchise shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress of the Philippines when the public interest so requires and shall not be interpreted as an exclusive grant of the privileges herein provided for.
SEC. 18. Effectivity Clause. â This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from the date of its publication, upon the initiative of the grantee, in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate
(Sgd.) JOSE DE VENECIA
Speaker of the House
This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on January 28, 2004 and January 23, 2004, respectively.
(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate
(Sgd.) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
House of Representatives
President of the Philippines
Lapsed into law on MAR 28, 2004, without the signature of the President, in accordance with Article VI, Section 27 (1) of the Constitution.