M a n i l a
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 576-A
REGULATING THE OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the President of the Philippines is empowered under the Constitution to review and approve franchises for public utilities;
WHEREAS, it has been observed that some public utilities, especially radio and television stations, have a tendency toward monopoly in ownership and operation to such an extent that a region or section of the country may be covered by any number of such broadcast stations, all or most of which are owned, operated or managed by one person or corporation;
WHEREAS, radio is the chief vehicle of the dissemination of information, being the source as surveys have shown of 86 percent of all information for the public and television is becoming similarly pervasive;
WHEREAS, the deep penetration that radio and television thus make into the public consciousness gives, them the responsibility of assisting the government to promote and safeguard the public welfare;
WHEREAS, on account of the limited number of frequencies available for broadcasting in the Philippines, it is necessary to regulate the ownership and operation of radio and television stations and provide measures that would enhance quality and viability in broadcasting and help serve the public interest;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree:
Section 1. No radio or television channel may obtain a franchise unless it has sufficient capital on the basis of equity for its operation for at least one year, including purchase of equipment.
Section 2. Every radio station or television channel shall allocate at least two hours a day as a program or programs rendering public service, during such broadcast hours as are normally regarded in the industry as prime time for a particular type of program and its appropriate audience.
Public service refers to news, educational, and cultural presentations and other programs informing the people of advances in science, industry, farming , and technology; of policies and important undertakings in government designed to promote or safeguard the public welfare; of matters related to the physical, intellectual and moral development of the young; or of traditions, values and activities which constitute the cultural heritage of the nation.
Section 3. No person or corporation may own, operate, or manage more than one radio or television station in one municipality or city; nor more than five AM and five FM radio station; nor more than five television channels in the entire country, and no radio or television station shall be utilized by any single-interest group to disseminate information or otherwise influence the public or the government to serve or support the ends of such group.
Section 4. Any person or corporation which owns more than the number of radio or television stations authorized in the preceding section shall divest itself of the excess stations or channels.. any excess station shall be sold through the Bureau to Telecommunications.
Section 5. Failure to divest as provided in the foregoing section shall, in addition to the penalties provided in Section 6, subject the person or corporation guilty of such failure to cancellation of the franchise of every excess station and to confiscation of the station and its facilities without compensation.
Section 6. All franchises, g rants, licenses, permits, certificates or other forms of authority to operate radio or television broadcasting systems shall terminate on December 31, 1981. Thereafter, irrespective of any franchise, grants, license, permit, certificate or other forms of authority to operate granted by any office, agency or person, no radio or television station shall be authorized to operated without the authority of the Board of Communications and the Secretary of Public Works and Communications or their successors who have the right and authority to assign to qualified parties frequencies, channels or other means of identifying broadcasting systems; Provided, however, that any conflict over, or disagreement with a decision of the aforementioned authorities may be appealed finally to the Office of the President within fifteen days from the date the decision is received by the party in interest.
Section 7. Any person who violates this Decree shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period ranging from five months to six years and the payment of a fine of P1,000.00 to P10,000.00, or both such imprisonment and fine, at the discretion of the court.
If the violation is committed by an association, partnership or corporation, the penalty shall be imposed on the officers or employees thereof who were responsible for or who committed the violation.
Section 8. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the city of Manila, this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.
By the President:
JUAN C. TUVERA
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation