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Obsolete Industry

Jinggoy Estrada wants Optical Media Board abolished

Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill seeking to abolish the Optical Media Board (OMB).

The lawmaker has filed Senate Bill 1904 as he emphasized that OMB monitors and regulates "an already obsolete industry" and the "storage medium and devices under the agency's regulatory control are also practically phased out."

"Through the years, significant technological advancements in the media landscape rendered the use of video tapes and compact discs as obsolete," Estrada said.

"During the conception and implementation of... regulatory policies, films were pirated, illegally circulated, and physically stored in optical media. Today, movies and television series are consumed through digital and online platforms and streaming services," he added.

In supporting his proposal, Estrada also mentioned OMB's "dismal performance" in the fight against film piracy.

In the last five years, Estrada said there has been a steady decline in the estimated value of seized items from P763 million in 2018 to P305,000 in 2022.

The lawmaker also mentioned that the OMB was not able to file new administrative cases against violators of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003.

Under Estrada's bill, the assets and unexpended appropriations of the OMB, specifically in eradicating film piracy, will be transferred to the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

The measure also proposed that the FDCP absorb the employees and officers of the OMB, as needed.

Those who are holding appointments shall also be given preference for appointment in other agencies if they meet the qualification requirements of the positions therein.

Officers and employees who are separated from the service as a result of the abolition of the OMB shall receive the corresponding separation benefits under applicable laws and regulations.

Those who are qualified to retire under existing laws will be allowed to do so and receive retirement benefits and/or gratuity to which they may be entitled under applicable laws, rules, and regulations. —VAL, GMA Integrated News