An open letter to PCOO Secretary Sonny Coloma

Sonny Coloma

Secretary Coloma:

In the last Wednesday’s Rappler article that IBC-13 will be privatized before President Aquino steps down in 2016 leaving the older sister station, PTV 4, as a sole government broadcaster.

We asked ourselves: “Why now? Why not during the time of sequestration during the administration of his mother?”

In history of the network, most of our netizens made excessive praises of Channel 13 during the Marcos administration. Soon after the People Power, the original programming of IBC gradually diminished until the first blocktimer in the 1990s, by Vintage, recovered the audience retention with PBA until the new millennium and back again with AKTV.

Recently, your network forged a deal with Engr. Rey Sanchez of Asian Television Content Corporation (ATC) to allocate the primetime block since last June 2. We were happy to have an alternative programs with Hi-5, ONE FC and two Latinovelas “The Two Sides of Ana” and “La Teniente.

However, we were disappointed that no disclosure was given during withdrawal of that block after three full months.

Presently, this network provided mediocre and repetitive home shopping and documentaries with lackluster and lagging of newer facilities as an implied justification. Your network had nearly-good TV programming during Holy Week and Christmas season but it does not deserve to function as a full-time national network.

Some of such speculations include low advertising rates, in which, the network couldn’t suffice to settle the burden of the liability of PHP 1.234 billion and a PHP 655.3 million capital deficiency.

These evidences of accounts were based according to the recently published audit report in the Commission on Audit for the said government-owned and controlled corporation.

With that inability to settle down the long overdue obligations and neglect of investing facilities and its maintenance that failed to compete with commercial networks, last July 28, the same day your master delivered the Fifth State of the Nation Address, a handful of employees of the network marched on to Commonwealth Avenue with the protesters heeding their long overdue remuneration and immediate privatization.

We feel bad for their redressing their grievances but you did not show the concern which is found on successful commercial channels because the network exercises partial and editorial policy towards the Chief Executive’s viewpoint rather than other branches of government and the common Juan dela Cruz.

Needless to say, the privatization process of this network follows the old-fashioned red tape bureaucracy.

With all honesty, we, the undersigned in behalf of the Filipino people, have already made a verdict that we have virtually no audience to appreciate this channel and declare it as a laughingstock — a shame not just for the country’s media industry sector but also for Asia and the world.

Forgive the rest of the netizens who do not know these issues within this national television industry for their senses are devoutly limited to the three big, successful commercial broadcasters.

To conclude this open letter, the network’s management must choose among the three options:

  • Continue to stick with the status quo programming,
  • Contact another blocktimer with a win-win situation on financial aspects, or
  • Discontinue the reception, dissolve the network and auction the frequency to private bidders.


We, the supposed Bosses of the President, are no longer patient with this matter as time marches on. Hence, we no longer wait until the decision of the ill-fated, bankrupt and crippled network has been settled.

His “straight path” agenda and the “inclusive growth” may be achieved in all sectors but can he do it on broadcasting industry, particularly on this issue?

Respectfully yours,

Timothy John L. Paragas
Gabby F. Hernandez
Gregory Maximinian
Ralph Domingo
Ymman Jake M. Biaco

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[Photo courtesy of 9News]



  1. IBC’s financial woes came in full swing around the year 1986. That year saw the new government’s sequestration of IBC because its owner at that time is a Marcos henchman. Then IBC saw an implosion which many ex-employees of the Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation migrated to IBC which had a negative impact on the broadcaster’s expenses, which in turn forced IBC to seek help from Viva, Seiko, etc. to produce more series. IBC became Islands TV for a few years in the early ’90s, but saw generally no significant financial improvement. Then IBC came back with an awesome station ID, but was mainly known at that time for airing anime and Japanese tokusatsu shows and the Vintage blocktimer. The last blocktimer attempt by IBC that was competitive ratings-wise was Viva TV. After the blocktimer ended its run, IBC is in a dilapidating state which got worse with passing time (which was only slightly checked with AKTV).

    IBC also has religious programming from some Christian groups.

    I hope that the issue with IBC to be a buzz abroad.

      1. Joshua, how did you know that ABS-CBN pirated IBC’s programming? What are the programs that Channel 2 plagiarized from Channel 13?

    1. And the start of the decline of IBC-13 also coincided with the cancellation of its trademark evening newscast, “Newsday,” anchored by the late Frankie Evangelista (if my memory serves me right).

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