MANILA - The National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) is seeking a P41-million budget for 2021 to procure a monitoring equipment that will ensure TV network's compliance of broadcasting child-friendly programs.
"Maliit lang po talaga ang budget namin and we really have been asking even last year po for the monitoring equipment para mas high tech and para ma-record po 'yung lahat na lalabas sa mga TV stations," NCCT executive director Daisy Atienza said during a virtual meeting of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture Tuesday.
Deputy Speaker and Sorsogon 1st District Rep. Evelina Escudero said they are willing to provide bigger funding to the agency and asked NCCT to adjust its appropriations for 2021.
Atienza also said the additional funding would be used to expand their office space.
"Ang aming hiling kung magkaroon po kami ng monitoring equipment ay mangangailan po itong mai-register sa ISSP, 'yung international standard strategic plan ng DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology)," she said.
"Hindi po nila ire-register' yung equipment kung wala pong DICT. And one of the requirements of DICT is titingnan po nila kung saan ilalagay, ang space po ay office rental. Kami po ay nasa loob ng DepEd," she added.
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, however, clarified that while NCCT is a council that has a function to monitor, review and classify children’s television programs, "TV and radio broadcasting as a form of learning modality is under DepEd."
"So the budget for the TV and radio broadcasting will be inside the DepEd po and we have included that in our 2021 budget proposal. Although nakikipag-coordinate kami sa NCCT on the council level but the development production and the implementation will be under our department," she said.
Section 9 of Republic Act 8370 or Children's Television Act of 1997 states that a minimum of 15 percent of the daily total air time of each broadcasting network shall be allotted for child-friendly shows within the regular programming of all networks granted franchises or as a condition for renewal of broadcast licenses hereinafter, to be included as part of the network’s responsibility of serving the public.
Tingog Sinirangan party-list Rep. Yedda Romualdez said she would like the mandate of NCCT to be reviewed because its guidelines only covers free-to-air TV.
"Especially during the pandemic that most of our children are spending more time at home and they are exposed to all these gadgets, I think we should start regulating not just 'free air TV' but also specialized TV shows and cable networks," she said.