GMA7 to block gov’t move to infuse P5B in PTV4

‘Unfair,’ exec cries on plan to prop up public TV

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@paolomontecillo

07:35 PM March 24th, 2013

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By: Paolo G. Montecillo, March 24th, 2013 07:35 PM

Broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. may file formal charges to block the government’s move to infuse capital worth P5 billion in the state-run People’s Television Network (PTV).

The government TV station plans to start selling advertising minutes in 2014.

GMA Network chair Felipe L. Gozon said PTV channel 4 should not be allowed to compete with private sector players that already pay taxes to the government.

“Part of that money being infused into PTV4 comes from the taxes we pay the government. We find that unfair,” Gozon said. “If PTV4 is allowed to compete with us, that’s our money funding our competitor.”

Last week, President Aquino signed into law Republic Act. No. 103901, or amendments to the PTV charter under RA No. 7306, “An Act Providing for the Establishment of the People’s Television Network, Incorporated, Defining Its Powers and Functions, Providing for Its Sources of Funding and for Other Purposes.”

Apart from the infusion of fresh capital—to add to the P1 billion PTV4 already has—the new law gives the state broadcast company the right to make money from advertising.

Gozon strongly opposed the measure when it was proposed in Congress.

“Now that it’s signed into law, we have to study if there’s a way to invalidate it,” said Gozon, who also heads his own law firm concurrent with his position as GMA chair.

While the state has the right to provide basic public services such as hospitals and schools, Gozon said the government should leave the media industry, which acts as the so-called “fourth estate,” to private companies.

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