MANILA – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s government is planning to sell television network IBC-13 for P10 billion to fund an upgrade of state media assets, his incoming communications secretary said Friday.
The outgoing administration had planned to sell the network for P2.5 billion, attracting interest from San Miguel Corp. President Ramon Ang and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. President Manuel Pangilinan.
The government can charge a premium for IBC-13, which was sequestered after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, since it is the last VHF available franchise, incoming communications secretary Martin Andanar said.
“We have to sell it. We have to privatize it already. The money goes back to the treasury,” he told ANC’s “Headstart with Karen Davila.”
Andanar acknowledged that the network had labor problems and owed P800 million in back wages to employees.
“We have to work on increasing the valuation of the network,” he said.
Andanar, a former radio and television anchor for TV5, said he would reorganize state-run PTV-4 and pattern it after the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC), which has editorial independence.
The incoming secretary said he had “blanket authority” from Duterte to revamp the state media infrastructure.
“We’ll hire the best news director. We’ll hire the best people on the bus,” he said.