REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7831 - AN ACT GRANTING ABC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, UNDER BUSINESS NAME 'ASSOCIATED BROADCASTING COMPANY,' A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, INSTALL, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTING STATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
1. Nature and Scope of Franchise. – Subject to the
provisions of the Constitution and applicable laws, rules and
regulations, there is hereby granted to the Associated Broadcasting
Company, its successors or assigns and hereunder referred to as the
grantee, a franchise to construct, install, operate and maintain for
commercial purposes and in the public interest radio and television
broadcasting stations in the Philippines with the corresponding
technological auxiliary or facilities, special broadcast and other
broadcast distribution services and relay stations. |
Sec. 2. Manner of Operation of Stations or Facilities. – The stations or facilities of the grantee shall be constructed and operated in a manner as will avoid interference on the wavelengths or frequencies of authorized users, whether for broadcasting or telecommunications purposes without in any way diminishing its own right to use its selected wavelengths or frequencies and the quality of transmission or reception of signals.
Sec. 3. Prior Approval of the National Telecommunications Commission. – The grantee shall secure from the National Telecommunications Commission the appropriate permits and licenses for its stations and shall not use any frequency in the radio/television spectrum without having been authorized by the Commission. The Commission, however, shall not unreasonably without or delay the grant of any such authority.
Sec. 4. Responsibility of the Public. – The grantee shall provide reasonable public service time to enable the government, through the said broadcasting stations, to reach the population on important public issues; provide at all times sound and balanced programming; promote public participation such as in community programming; assist in the functions of public information and education; conform to the ethics of honest enterprise; and not use its stations for the broadcasting of obscene and indecent language, speech, act, scene or for the dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation to the detriment of the public interest, or to incite, encourage, or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.
Sec. 5. Right of Government. – The President of the Philippines, in times of rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbance of peace and order, may temporarily take over and operate the stations of the grantee, temporarily suspend the operation of any station in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare, or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any department of the government, upon due compensation to the grantee, for the use of said stations during the period when they shall be so operated.
Sec. 6. Term of Franchise. – This franchise shall be for a term of twenty-five (25) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act, unless sooner revoked or cancelled. In the event the grantee fails to operate continuously for two (2) years or within two (2) years from the approval of its permit by the National Telecommunications Commission, this franchise shall be deemed ipso facto revoked.
Sec. 7. Acceptance and Compliance. – Acceptance of this franchise shall be given in writing to the Secretary of Transportation and Communications with a copy furnished to the Chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission, within sixty (60) days after the approval of this Act. Upon giving such acceptance, the grantee shall exercise the privileges granted under this Act.
Sec. 8. Tax Provisions. – The grantee, its successors or assigns shall be liable to pay the same taxes on their real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive of this franchise, as other persons or corporations are now or hereafter may be required by law to pay. In addition thereto, the grantee, its successors or assigns shall pay a franchise tax equivalent to three percent (3%) of all gross receipts of the radio/television business transacted under this franchise by the grantee, its successors or assigns shall continue to be liable for income taxes payable under Title II of the National Internal Revenue Code pursuant to Sec. 2 of Executive Order No. 72 unless the latter enactment is amended or repealed, in which case the amendment or repeal shall be applicable thereto.
The grantee shall file the return with and pay the tax due thereon to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly authorized representative in accordance with the National Internal Revenue Code and the return shall be subject to audit by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Sec. 9. Self-regulation by and Undertaking of Grantee. – The grantee shall not require any previous censorship of any speech, play, act, scene, or other matter to be broadcast and/or telecast from its stations: provided, that the grantee, during any broadcast and/or telecast, shall cut off the air such speech, play, act, scene, or other matter being broadcast and/or telecast if the tendency thereof is to propose and/or incite treason, rebellion or sedition; or the language used therein or the theme thereof is indecent or immoral; and willful failure to do so shall constitute a valid cause for the cancellation of this franchise.
SECTION 10. Warranty in Favor of National and Local Governments. – The grantee shall hold the national, provincial and municipal governments of the Philippines harmless from all claims, accounts, demands or actions arising out of accidents or injuries, whether to property or to persons, caused by the construction or operation of the stations of the grantee.
SECTION 11. Sale, Lease, Transfer, Usufruct, etc. – The grantee shall not lease, transfer, grant the usufruct of, sell nor assign this franchise or the rights and privileges acquired thereunder to any person, firm, company, corporation or entity not otherwise enfranchised for broadcasting services without the prior approval of the Congress of the Philippines. The controlling interest in the grantee shall not be transferred, assigned nor sold whether as a whole or in parts and whether simultaneously or contemporaneously within five (5) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act. Any person or entity to which this franchise is sold, transferred or assigned shall be subject to all the same conditions, terms, restrictions, and limitations of this Act.
SECTION 12. General Broadcast Policy Law. – The grantee shall comply with and be subject to the provisions of a general broadcast policy law which Congress may hereafter be enacted.
SECTION 13. Separability Clause. – If any of the sections or provisions of this Act is held invalid, all the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid.
SECTION 14. Repealability and Non-exclusivity Clause. – This franchise shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the Congress of the Philippines when the public interest so requires and shall not be interpreted as an exclusive grant of the privileges herein provided for.
SECTION 15. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect within fifteen (15) days from the date of its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
Approved: December 8, 1994