KBP says NTC order to limit to blocktime deals is 'prior restraint',

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2022 05:08 PM

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MANILA – The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on Tuesday said restricting blocktime agreements of radio and TV stations constituted “prior restraint” on media and called on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reconsider its memorandum order. 

The NTC earlier issued a memo telling broadcasters to limit blocktime deals to no more than 50 percent of a radio or TV station’s daily airtime broadcast.

KBP general counsel and spokesman Atty. Rudolf Jularbal said this constituted “prior restraint.”

“Ang punto natin (Our point) is when you submit an agreement subject to the approval or disapproval of the commission and the agreement pertains to content, prior restraint na ito. At wala sa otoridad ng (And not within the authority of) NTC.”

Prior restraint is a form of governmental restriction on the press.

Jularbal has said that the NTC only covers "technical matters pertaining to broadcast," such as airwaves, frequency allocation, and power limitation, among others.

In a public hearing Monday, the Philippine telecommunications regulator stood by its controversial memo after broadcasters said the commission is going beyond its jurisdiction.

The KBP meanwhile said it hopes the NTC will review its order.

“May 15 days tayo na magsubmit ng comments and our position paper. After that aantayin namin kung ano ang gagawin ng NTC. Sana magkaroon ng technical working group,” said KBP general counsel and spokesman Atty. Rudolf Jularbal.

(We have 15 days to submit comments and a position paper. After that we'll see rhat the NTC will do. Hopefully there will be a technical working group.)

“But in the meantime, hinihiling namin na review-hin ano yung implications ng (memorandum order) na ginagawa at hindi maganda nag anito ang bungad sa’tin ng bagong administrasyon na parang may prior restraint kaagad.”

“Hindi maganda yun, na we’re suspposed to be practicing democracy and walang pikon sa sitwasyon,” he added.

(But in the meantime, we hope they'll review the implications of their memorandum order. It's not good that this is happening at the beginning of a new administration. It seems like there's prior restraint right away. It's not good, we're supposed to be a practicing democracy.)

The group earlier also said the NTC order prevents the “democratization” of media.

--TeleRadyo, 12 July 2022