PCOO defends airing of Chinese shows on state-run station

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2018 04:08 PM

FILE PHOTO: Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua try out the operational capability of one of the radios that the Chinese government donated to government-owned media groups under the PCOO, February 2017. Exequiel Supera, Malacanang 

MANILA - There is nothing wrong with the planned airing of Tagalog-dubbed Chinese shows and movies over state-run television network PTV as long as these are informative and entertaining, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said Wednesday. 

Opposition senators have sought a legislative inquiry into the plan, citing the need to protect the local broadcast industry from foreign intrusion. 

But PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said PTV may air foreign content covered by bilateral exchanges and a memorandum of agreement. 

The agency has memoranda of understanding with its counterparts in China, Russia, Korea, and Japan, and is set to have one with Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, he noted. 

The state-run network is currently airing Korean programs and Japanese content, Andanar said. 

The PTV management, he added, is ready to elaborate on its planned airing of Chinese shows before a possible Senate hearing. 
 
Last month, amid unresolved territorial disputes between Manila and Beijing, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua announced China's plan to air movies, documentaries, cartoons and other shows on PTV starting in August to allow Filipinos to "better understand" China.

Under the PTV Charter, the channel funded by taxpayers' money is meant to "develop the broadcasting industry" and to develop and promote "Filipino sovereignty, identity, national unity and integration", opposition lawmakers have said. 

The planned broadcast of Chinese shows on PTV comes amid President Rodrigo Duterte's bid for closer ties with Beijing despite its pending dispute with Manila over the South China Sea. 

The Duterte administration has shelved a 2016 arbitration victory at a United Nations-backed tribunal, which invalidated China's sweeping claims over the strategic waters where $5 trillion in trade goods pass by annually. 

Officials earlier said the Philippines is taking "diplomatic action" to protect its claims while refusing to anger China with "megaphone diplomacy."