Duterte renews franchise of Zamboanga-based broadcast firm

President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed the franchise of Zamboanga-based Golden Broadcast Professional Inc. (GBPI) for another 25 years under a new law.


Duterte signed Republic Act 11477 on June 25 allowing GBPI to “construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio and/or television broadcasting stations” across the country until 2025.


Under the law, the GBPI must secure from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) the appropriate permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its stations or facilities.


The NTC must not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of any such authority.


The renewal mandates the GBPI to provide free and adequate public service time on important public issues and relay important public announcements and warnings concerning public emergencies and calamities.


The GBPI should also conform to the ethics of honest enterprise, promote audience sensibility and empowerment.


Public service time must be equivalent to a maximum aggregate of 10 percent of the paid commercials or advertisements.


The GBPI must submit an annual report to Congress on its compliance with the terms and conditions of the franchise and on its operations on or before April 30 of every year during the term of its franchise.


Failure of GPBI to submit the annual report to Congress will be penalized by a fine of PHP500 per working day of noncompliance.


New capital


Meanwhile, Duterte also signed into law a bill transferring the capital and seat of governance of Rizal province from Pasig City to Antipolo City.


The President signed Republic Act 11475 on June 19.


“Upon the effectivity of this Act, the present Provincial Capitol located in the City of Antipolo, Province of Rizal shall be deemed as the official Provincial Government Center where all the provincial offices shall be established,” the law read.


The law takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper or the Official Gazette.


The province of Rizal was created on June 11, 1901 by virtue of an Act No. 137. Under this Act, and the seat of the provincial government was Pasig.


When Presidential Decree 824 was issued in 1975 creating the Metropolitan Manila and Metropolitan Manila Commission, several local government units (LGUs) were removed from Rizal yet the provincial capital was maintained in Pasig.


Senator Francis Tolentino, sponsor of the bill, said transferring the capital of Rizal to Antipolo would generate more economic activities by enticing investors to go to the capital.


“Designating the city as capital for purposes of administrative convenience and historical reasons would augur well for the economic development of not just the city of Antipolo but the entire province,” he said in a statement.


Besides RA 11475, Duterte also signed other local laws namely Republic Act 11472 which increases the bed capacity of the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH) in Surigao City from 150 to 500 beds; RA 11473 upgrading the Talisay District Hospital (TDH) in Talisay City, Cebu into a medical center to be known as the Cebu South Medical Center; and RA 11474 which also upgrades the Maria L. Eleazar District Hospital (MLEDH) in Tagkawayan, Quezon into a Level 3 general hospital to be known as the Maria L. Eleazar General Hospital.


Source: Philippines News Agency




Missile boats project to push thru amid Covid-19: Navy


The Philippine Navy on Monday said its fast-attack interdictor craft-missile (FAIC-M) project, which seeks to acquire eight ships to replace its medium-sized patrol craft, or the force of patrol killer medium (PKM), will push through amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.


Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the project was approved for inclusion in the Horizon 2 project list of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and has a budget of PHP10 billion.


“FAIC-M is an acquisition project of the PN that was approved for inclusion in the Horizon 2 Projects List of Revised AFP Modernization Program with ABC (approved budget for contract) of PHP10 billion and for Multi-Year Contracting,” Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.


Four of the FAIC-Ms will be armed with non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missiles with pinpoint accuracy with a range of 25 kilometers while the other four will be armed with machine guns and light automatic cannons.


“The MYOA (Multi-Year Obligational Authority) requested is for four years with payment spread by 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, and 40 percent each year starting 2020 and end(ing) 2023. Hence, the 10 percent (PHP1 billion) is already programmed by the DND (Department of National Defense) in the Financial Schedule for FY (Fiscal Year) 2020,” Roxas said.


She added that procurement activities will start immediately after the MYOA is approved by the Department of Budget and Management.


Earlier, PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo confirmed that the FAIC-M project is already included in the 2020 budget.


He added that the procurement process would have been on schedule without the Covid-19 pandemic.


Former Navy spokesperson, Capt. Jonathan Zata, said that with the FAIC-M, the PN shall have the capability to defend the key sea lines of communications (SLOCs), such as Mindoro, Balabac, Sibutu and Basilan Straits against conventional threats.


“Operating in restricted waters, the FAIC-Ms can interdict surface threats and launch NLOS missiles safely using the surrounding littoral areas as maneuver space and cover,” he added.


Earlier, former PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said the Navy is eyeing to acquire eight Israeli Shipyard Ltd “Shaldag”-class patrol boats to replace the PKMs it is using for maritime interdiction operations.


“These eight ‘Shaldags’ will replace our PKMs (acquired from South Korea in 1995) which we are now starting to retire. The last PKM we retired was PKM 112 (BRP Bienvenido Salting),” Empedrad said in Filipino.


He added that four of the “Shaldag” patrol boats will be built in Israel while the remaining four will be constructed in the PN Cavite Naval Yard in Sangley Point, Cavite City.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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