Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Third Regular Session
Begun and Held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-fourth day of July, two thousand.
REPUBLIC ACT 8993
AN ACT GRANTING THE PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, INSTALL, ESTABLISH, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN RADIO AND/OR TELEVISION BROADCASTING STATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF PALAWAN
Be it enacted in the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Nature and Scope of Franchise. – Subject to the provision of the Constitution and applicable laws, rules and regulations, there is hereby granted to Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, hereunder referred to as the grantee, its successors or assigns, a franchise to construct, install establish operate and maintain for educational and noncommercial purposes and in the public interest, radio ad/or television broadcasting stations in the province of Palawan, where frequencies and/or television broadcasting, through microwave, satellite or whatever means, 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.
Section 2. Manner of Operation of Stations or Facilities. – The stations or facilities of the grantee shall be constructed and operate 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 thereof as should maximize rendition of the grantee’s services and/or availability thereof.
Section 3. Prior Approval of the National Telecommunications Commission. – The grantee shall secure form the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) the appopriate permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its stations and facilities and shall not use ay frequency in the radio/television spectrum without having authorized by the Commission. The Commission, however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of any such authority.
Section 4. Responsibility to the Public.– 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 issues; provide at all times round and balanced programming; assist in the functions of public information and education; conform to the ethics of honest enterprises; and not to use its stations or facilities for the broadcasting of obscene and indecent language, speech, act or scene; or for the dissemination of deliberately false information of willful misrepresentation, to the detriment of the public interest, or incite, encourage or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.
Section 5. Right of Government. – A special right is hereby reserved to the President of the Philippines, in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbances of peace and order, to temporarily suspend the operation of any stations or facility in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare, or to authorized 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 operated.
The radio spectrum is a finite resource that is a 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.
Section 6. Term of Franchise. – 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.
Section 7. Acceptance and Compliance. – Acceptance of this franchise shall be given in writing sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act. Upon giving such acceptance, the grantee shall exercise the privileges granted under this Act. Nonacceptance shall render the franchise void.
Section 8. Bond. – The grantee shall file a bond issued in favor of the NTC which shall determine the amount, to guarantee the compliance with the fulfillment of the condition 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.
Section 9. Self-Regulation by and Undertaking of Grantee. – The grantee shall not require any previous censorship of any speech, play, act or scene, or other matter to be broadcast from its station: Provided, That the grantee, during any broadcast, shall cut off from 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.
Section 10. Obligation of Grantee. – Any person aggrieved by any remark, report, statement, commentary or the like by broadcasting 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.
Section 11. Warranty in Favor of National and Local Governments. – The grantee shall hold the national, provincial, and municipal governments of the Philippines harmless from all claims, accounts, demands or action arising out of the accidents or injuries, whether to property or to persons, caused by the construction or operation of the stations of the grantee.
Section 12. Sale, Lease, Transfer, Usufruct, Etc. – 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 the 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 without the prior approval of the Congress of the Philippines. Any person or entity to which this franchise is sold, transferred or assigned, shall be subject to the same conditions, terms, restrictions and limitations of this Act.
Section 13. General Broadcast Policy Law. – The grantee shall comply with and is subject to the provision of a general broadcast policy law which the Congress may hereafter enact.
Section 14. Equality Clause. – Any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under existing franchise, or may hereafter be granted, shall ipso facto become part of previously granted telecommunications franchises and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the grantees of such franchise: Provided, however, That the foregoing shall neither apply to nor affect provisions of telecommunications franchises concerning territory covered by the franchise, the lifespan of the franchise, or the type of service authorized by the franchise.
Section 15. Separability Clause. – If any of the sections or provisions of this Act is held invalid, all the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid.
Section 16. Repealability and Nonexclusivity Clause. – 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 o the privileges herein provided for.
Section 17. Reportorial Requirement. – 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 operation within sixty (60) days from the end of every year.
Section 18. Effectivity. – 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. MANUEL V. VILLAR, JR. Speaker of the House of Representatives
This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was finally passed by the House of Representatives wand the Senate on October 18, 2000 and October 10, 2000 respectively.
Sgd. OSCAR G. YABES Secretary of the Senate
Sgd. ROBERTO P. NAZARENO Secretary General, House of Representatives
Approved. (July 05, 2001)
Sgd. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA President of the Philippines