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Andanar discloses plan of PTV-4 to compete with commercial broadcast networks

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Wednesday disclosed plans of the People's Television Network (PTV-4) to compete for ratings with commercial broadcast networks in order to generate its own income.

Andanar made the disclosure during House panel deliberations on the proposed 2021 budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

During the hearing, House appropriations committee chair Eric Yap asked Andanar if PTV-4 has plans to compete with GMA-7 after ABS-CBN has shut down its broadcast operations absent a franchise.

"Yes, we've had the plan to at least be able to compete as far as ratings is concerned. The PTV-4, being a government-owned and -controlled corporation, it has to make its own money from advertisers," Andanar told Yap.

According to Andanar, the PCOO will be unveiling its media hub in Mindanao in October this year in addition to one that is located in Luzon.

"As far as programming is concerned, we have also beefed up our news from morning to evening," he said.

But along with the announcement of the PTV-4's plan to compete with commercial broadcast networks, Yap brought up the labor issues that the network's employees face that he wants PCOO to look into.

He pointed out that PTV-4's cameramen only get paid P17,000 a month even though they have already been working for the network for 10 years. They also have no hazard or overtime pay, he said.

In response, Andanar said they have long been fighting to address the complaints of their employees at PTV-4, but pointed out the processes that they need to go through to meet the workers' demands.

"Meron lang tayong experience na nagkakaproblema tayo dahil number one, ang members of the board ng PTV ang nag-a-approve. At hindi rin sila nakakabigay ng go signal hangga't sa [hindi] nagbibigay ang GCG (Governance Commission for GOCCs) ng go-signal," he said.

"Nagiging hadlang lang ay 'yung proseso at sistema at of course kung ano ang binibigay na go-signal ng GCG. [Pero] sa tulong niyo, we are very confident na mapapabilis ang pagbigay natin ng mga benepisyo," he added. 

The PCOO was supposed to present its proposed budget of P1.59 billion for next year. The briefing however was suspended after ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro moved as she slammed Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy for "red-tagging" her and her fellow members of the Makabayan Bloc.

The PCOO's budget briefing is "suspended until further notice." —KG, GMA News