NTC gives broadcasters 15 days to submit recommendations on blocktime order

Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2022 04:10 PM

MANILA - The National Telecommunications Commission on Monday gave broadcasters 15 days to submit their recommendations to the agency on the draft memorandum circular (MC) which seeks to review blocktime arrangements.

This was after the NTC held a public hearing on the draft MC which was opposed by several groups including the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.

"We would like to express already our initial position and observation that the subject matter of MO 406-2022 is beyond the authority and jurisdiction of the NTC as it deals with content," KBP Spokesperson Atty. Rudolph Steve Jularba said. 

But the NTC denied it was regulating content with the draft MC.

"Wala pong naka-cite dyan na regulating content (There's nothing in there that states it was regulating content). What is being regulated is the use of the facilities to air content. Selling airtime can be regulated by the commission," former NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said. 

"Airtime is a privilege to the broadcast company and if you have privileges, rights so it has to be regulated by the commission," he added.

KBP's Jularba meanwhile said they would submit a detailed position paper to the NTC.

According to the draft memorandum circular released earlier by the NTC, blocktime agreements should not exceed half the daily airtime of a broadcast entity.

"Block time agreements shall not be more than fifty percent (50 percent) of the daily airtime broadcast of the radio and/or television station," the NTC said. 

Block timing is "standard practice" in the broadcasting industry, the KBP earlier said.