Baguio digital television mess

>> Sunday, October 8, 2017


The entry of a digital terrestrial television broadcast station in Baguio should be a welcome development to improve services and lower consumer monthly billing rates.
However, the city council approved a resolution opposing the application of Baycomms Broadcasting Corporation for a certificate of public convenience to install, operate and maintain their television broadcast station in the city. The council also opposed issuance of a provisional authority pending final determination of the merits of the application.
 The local legislative body decided to file the resolution of protest after the applicant repeatedly failed to appear during its regular sessions the past weeks for it to substantiate its application and explain to local legislators benefits of having the television broadcast station.
 Earlier, National Telecommunication Commission Cordillera regional officials appeared before the regular session of the city council but they were not able to update the local legislators on status of pending application of Baycomms.
Thus, it was decided to reset inquiry on the matter and invite company officials to explain merits of their applications to local officials for them to understand the matter.
Among those invited in last Monday’s regular session of the local legislative body but failed to appear included Elmer V. Catulpos, president of Baycomms Broadcasting Corporation and lawyer Bobby John B. Gaytos, legal counsel of the same company.
The city council said the repeated failure of the company officials to appear during its regular sessions after a series of invitation illustrated their lack of interest in pursuing the project.
NTC-CAR officials told local legislators in previous meetings that the local government had the right to file their opposition to the applications of telecommunications companies applying for the issuance of certificates of public convenience so that local officials could impose additional conditions to make sure the environment and health and safety of the people would be guaranteed by the applicants.
Under the terrestrial television broadcast set up, the applicant could split one channel into six sub-channels wherein two of the channels could be designated for pay per view, one channel for disaster response while it could apportion the three remaining channels for whatever purposes they want to operate the same.
The council wanted to inquire from the television company proposed site for its facilities, detailed plans for the broadcast station, among other issues and concerns.
The city council was earlier furnished by the NTC central office with a copy of its notice of hearing earlier scheduled to deliberate the application of Baycomms for the operation of the terrestrial television broadcast station in the city for its appropriate action and information.

The entry of Baycomms in Baguio should have been a catalyst to improving television services. What made Baycomms officials or representatives not to appear during council hearings to explain their side? Is there a deeper reason for them not to do so like “operational fees?”    


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