WE MARCHED on a long crusade for the fate of Broadcast City, whether to privatize or to shut down, until Malacanang Palace finally gave a nod to see the light of hope in the midst of their consistent and constant financial and operational gloom.
With only a bit more than five months left in office, President Benigno S. Aquino III approved the privatization of Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) based on the recommendation of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).
This news has just received after IBC was recently snubbed out from covering another season of the PBA D-League in favor of AksyonTV after the blocktimer, Asian Television Content (ATC), had incurred debt that would be impossible to pay.
GCG gets to the ground
The GCG says that privatization of Channel 13 “rationalizes the State’s portfolio in the Communications Sector in view of the overlap with PTV-4, which is already sufficient to address market failures in the private broadcast industry, such as providing programs with social value but are not considered profitable.” This comes in the wake of the recent revitalization of PTV, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10390, which identified the privatization of IBC as one of the sources of funding the increase in sole state broadcaster’s legal capital from P 1 billion to P 6 billion.
IBC was also in financial distress, operating at an average net loss of P45.26 million from 2010 to 2014 and receiving operational subsidies amounting to P23.56 million in 2015. According to the 2014 audit report released by the Commission on Audit, IBC suffered into the capital deficiency of PHP 893.5 million.
IBC: Not just a repeat offender but repertoire of failure
Throughout the years, IBC becomes the laughingstock and the “rotten apple” among the fresh ones on the VHF frequency. It ended up being unrecognized by the masa unless they recall their good old days.
Aside from being a repeat offender of noncompliance to MTRCB ratings, IBC suffered the worst as what the Turf calls the “broadcast repertoire of failure.” (Sorry fantards, it is not ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5 and/or CNN Philippines that you think is/are the worst network/s “ever”.)
Aside from over-relying and diversifying home shopping blocks, IBC ranked up dead last as they failed to compete with the Big 3, CNN Philippines and even her sister network, PTV, on necessary news equipment such as they procured no live outside broadcast (OB) vans and/or live cameras, no live phone patches and of course, lack of virtual news graphics. Not to forget, the lack of utilizing social media and a working website (although IBC had one until their domain expired back in 2005) became a hindrance to the competition and recognition for Filipinos in the Information Age.
The how’s and how much’s of the bid
The privatization of IBC will be done through public bidding with an estimated floor price of P1.977 billion. A committee composed of representatives from GCG, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and IBC itself shall implement and conduct the said process.
That said, for the potential bidders, we wish to make the utterly forgotten, abandoned and fallen network rise again from hopelessness and shine once more to compete with vitality.
For more information, click here for Q&A of IBC privatization.
[IBC 13 logo courtesy of Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation / Wikimedia Commons]