MANILA — State broadcaster People's Television Network (PTV) on Monday sought a bigger budget in 2024 as they detailed their plan to "become the Number 2 TV station" in the Philippines next year.
"[C]onservatively, iyan po ang aming gustong ma-achieve. And, hopefully, within the next few years mag-Number 1 ang PTV sa lahat ng TV stations sa buong Pilipinas," PTV general manager Ana Puod told a Senate panel deliberating the Presidential Communications Office's (PCO) proposed budget next year.
(Conservatively, that is what we want to achieve. And, hopefully, within the next few years, PTV will be Number 1 among TV stations in the Philippines.)
PTV is an attached government-owned and controlled corporation of the PCO.
According to Puod, the marching order to make PTV the top TV station in the country came from President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. himself.
"Ako naman po inii-scale down ko lang yung gusto kong gawin, but we're looking at Number 2 po next year," she said.
(I have been scaling down the projects I plan to do, but we're looking at being Number 2 next year.)
Push for digitization
PTV was allotted P129 million in the proposed budget for next year.
Puod said they need more funds to comply with the digitization requirement of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as well as for other projects.
"We're thinking of building 16 digital transmitters nationwide para buong Pilipinas ma-cover ng PTV," Puod said.
"It's about P25 million per digital transmitter," she added.
Sen. JV Ejercito said the government can only grant a portion of the requested amount for that.
"We can do that pero hindi naman biglaan. Portion by portion. Probably we can prioritize the regions first," Estrada said.
MORE REGIONAL PRESENCE
Ejercito likewise pointed out that PTV must aim to close the gap left by the ABS-CBN shutdown that forced the company to close down its regional networks.
"Hindi naman sa pag-aano pero yung ABS-CBN shutdown... 'Yung regional ano nila, malaki ang reach, so malaki rin ang nawala. I just have to be honest about it. That has to be covered especially during crisis situations to warn people... Ambisyunin natin 'yun, slowly," he told the PTV officials.
(Their regional operations had a wide reach, so that was a big loss.)
In response, Puod said PTV is already eying to convert one of its four channels into a "regional disaster network."
"Kahit mga 20 hours per day maging focus niya ay coverage ng weather. Yun yung magiging content. Paano mag-survive sa earthquake, etc.," she said.
(Even for just 20 hours a day, the channel will focus on weather coverage. That will be the content. How to survive an earthquake, etc.)
PTV is also seeking more funds to buy a new lot for permanent headquarters in Metro Manila.