MANILA — Government sequestered broadcast firm IBC-13 will shut down by January 2023 unless it is funded, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
According to Cruz-Angeles, not one centavo of the Office of the Press Secretary's (OPS) 2023 budget worth P1.2 billion will go to the broadcaster.
She appealed to lawmakers to adjust the IBC-13's budget during her budget pitch to the House Appropriations Committee Friday.
"Sa IBC po ito po makikita na natin, na humingi kami sa personnel services, MOOE at capital outlay para maituloy natin ang pag-broadcast ng IBC pero na-zero na po sila completely," she said.
(For IBC, we're seeking personnel services, MOOE, and capital outlay for us to continue IBC's broadcast because they ran out of money.)
"Meron kaming konting apela. Kung hindi po malagyan ang IBC, mawawalan po ng trabaho 'yung ating workers at by January close operation na po tayo."
(We have a request. If IBC remains unfunded, workers there will lose their jobs and by January it will cease operations.)
The OPS presentation submitted to the House Appropriations Committee ahead of the budget briefing Friday showed that the OPS proper wants P473.173 million for 2023, of which P275.582 million will go to maintenance and other operating expenses, P192.53 million will go to personnel services, and P5.05 million will go to capital outlay.
The total figure is 44 percent lower than the agency's 2022 budget, which stood at P840.62 billion.
The attached agencies PTV, IBC, Apo Production Unit, National Printing Office (NPO), News and Information Bureau (NIB), and the Bureau of Broadcast Services (BBS) will get a combined amount of P748.335 million.
Of this figure, P125.15 million will go to PTV, zero to IBC, zero to Apo Production Unit, P17.1 million to NPO, P140.09 million to NIB, and P465.977M to BBS.
Apo also got zero funding in the 2022 budget, while IBC got P73.689 million in 2022.
Overall, the OPS and attached agencies' combined budget for 2023 is 24% lower than the previous year's NEP worth P1.6 billion.
Cruz-Angeles also explained to lawmakers that apart from IBC's funds, PTV's funds were also cut, which would prevent them from raising salaries.
"Humihingi kami ng MOOE na P240 million para maiangat nang konti 'yung antas ng suweldo ng aming mga workers sa PTV ngunit ang nabigay po sa atin ay P125 million," Cruz-Angeles said.
(We're requesting a P240 million budget for the MOOE to increase workers' salaries at the PTV but we were given P125 million.)
Cruz-Angeles said that PTV is designated to handle news and information, while IBC is tasked to handle education, culture, and the arts.
"Kaya po ito nabigyan ng zero ay dahil ang categorization ng IBC is for privatization. Ngunit base doon sa batas, kailangan 'pag prinivatize natin ang IBC maka-deliver siya ng at least P1 billion para sa modernization ng PTV natin," Cruz Angeles explained.
(IBC was given zero budget because its categorization was for privatization. But according to law, if IBC will be privatized it needs to deliver at least P1 billion for the modernization of PTV.)
"Hindi po makaka-raise at the current state ang ating IBC. Kailangan palakihin natin 'yung value niya pero di natin magagawa 'yan at this stage lalong-lalo na pag mag-force to close ang ating IBC."
(At its current state, IBC can't raise that amount, we still need to grow its value. But we can't do that at this stage especially if it will be forced to close.)