Duterte grants Davao City gov't radio franchise, renews UP broadcast license

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2021 06:02 PM

Duterte grants Davao City gov't radio franchise, renews UP broadcast license 1
President Rodrigo Duterte holds his weekly "Talk to the People" at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 17, 2021. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has granted Davao City a franchise to operate radio stations and renewed the broadcast license of the University of the Philippines, according to separate documents Malacañang released on Thursday. 

Duterte in Republic Act 11538 allowed the Davao City government to "install, operate, and maintain for commercial processes and in the public interest" radio stations in his hometown. 

He required the city government to secure appropriate permits and licenses from the National Telecommunications Commission, which the body can revoke or suspend "in case of any violation" of the franchise. 

Duterte mandated the franchise holder to "reach the pertinent populations or portions thereof on important public issues and relay public announcements," among other duties. 

"This franchise shall be in effect for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act, unless sooner cancelled," reads RA 11538 signed on May 18.

Duterte was mayor of Davao City for seven terms, totaling more than 22 years, and also served as vice-mayor and congressman of the city’s first congressional district.

Her daughter and son are the city's incumbent mayor and vice mayor, respectively, while another son is the city's 1st congressional district representative.

In Republic Act 11540, Duterte extended for another 25 years the franchise of UP to "establish, maintain, and operate for educational and other related purposes and in public interest, radio and television broadcasting stations" within its campuses and other areas within its scope of operation. 

Like the Davao City government, the state university should secure appropriate permits from the NTC, said Duterte. 

The UP broadcasting network shall allot at least 15 percent of its daily air time to "child-friendly shows", in line with the Children's Television Act, he said. 

RA 11540 gives the President the right to take over and operate the broadcasting network in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster, or disturbance of peace and order. 

Last year, Duterte threatened to defund UP and accused it of recruiting "communists" following calls for an academic strike against the alleged negligence of the administration in disaster response and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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