NTC, KBP team up to catch rogue broadcast stations during 2019 polls
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has partnered again with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) to beef up its efforts against illegal broadcast stations ahead of the 2019 midterm elections.
NTC made the initiative in anticipation of a surge in fly-by-night broadcast stations, mostly in the provinces, which have victimized election candidates before.
“Historically, we can see a steep increase in the number of cases in broadcast services in relation to unlicensed broadcasts leading to the election campaign period,” NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said in a statement on Wednesday.
“What we do is we immediately issue cease-and-desist and show cause orders against these illegal operators, forcing them to shut down their stations, while others simply disappear,” he added.
NTC noted that there had been incidents in the past when illegal broadcast stations picked on unsuspecting political candidates.
These illegal broadcast stations would suddenly disappear after receiving payment from candidates, NTC said.
With its renewed partnership with the KBP, Cabarios expressed optimism that NTC could “curb the proliferation of unlicensed broadcast stations which interfere with the broadcast of legitimate stations.”
There were 2,054 broadcast services division cases recorded by the NTC, according to the 2017 report of the Commission on Audit (COA). Except for a few cases, it added, the administrative complaints were initiated by the NTC itself motu propio for violations against erring radio stations.
Auditor Ma. Jocelyn Factora, COA’s 2017 resident auditor in the NTC, confirmed that almost all pending administrative cases represented those filed by NTC against illegal broadcast stations, and not cases from telco consumers.
“The pending telco-related cases from consumers are very minimal,” the auditor said.
As of December 31, 2017, there are only 148 telco consumer cases pending before the NTC’s Legal Office which are now subject of review and resolution, the agency noted. /atm /kga
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