MANILA -- All live permits to operate and maintain broadcast and pay TV facilities that will expire during the 1-month Luzon quarantine will be automatically renewed, the National Telecommunications Commission has said.
The licenses will be valid for 60 days from the end of the quarantine period. After which, the stations will be given 60 days to file for renewal of their permit or license without penalties or surcharges, the NTC said in a memo dated March 16.
The lockdown of Luzon, home to half the Philippines’ 100 million people, is scheduled to end on April 12.
ABS-CBN Corp, which continues to broadcast despite the lockdown, informed the stock exchange of the NTC memo on Monday. Its franchise is set to expire in early April but lawmakers had said that it could continue operating on provisional authority from the NTC.
"All subsisting permits, permits necessary to operate and maintain broadcast and pay TV facilities nationwide expiring within the quarantine period shall automatically be renewed and shall continue to be valid 60 days after the end of the government-imposed quarantine period," the NTC said.
The NTC cited quarantine guidelines which counted telecommunications among basic necessities that could continue to operate. The regulator said media personnel were also allowed to move within the quarantine area.
Further, the NTC said importation, domestic transport and sale of broadcast equipment, devices and spare parts would be allowed and unrestricted.
Broadcast technical personnel, provided they have proper IDs, can also work to ensure "unimpeded" service, it said.
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