REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11219, February 14, 2019
AN ACT EXTENDING FOR ANOTHER TWENTY-FIVE (25) YEARS THE FRANCHISE GRANTED TO THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (CHURCH OF CHRIST) UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4339, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7225
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Nature and Scope of Franchise . Subject to the provisions of the Philippine Constitution and applicable laws, rules and regulations, the franchise granted to Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) under Republic Act No. 4339, as amended by Republic Act No. 7225 and hereunder referred to as the grantee, to construct, establish, maintain, lease, pruchase, operate and carry on a private telecommunications or electronic communications services throughout the Philippines and between the Philippines and other countries and territories, including outer space as public interest may warrant, for domestic and international telecommunications is hereby extended for twenty-five (25) years from the effectivity of this Act. For this purpose, the grantee is hereby bestowed the right to construct, establish, install, maintain, lease, purchase, and operate the corresponding transmitting and receiving stations, satellites, lines systems, networks, international gateways, local exchanges, and platforms as it may consider necessary, convenient or reasonable.
In this Act, the term "telecommunications" shall include "electronic telecommunications:, in addition, as used in this Act:
(a) Electronic communications network shall refer to: (1) a transmission system for conveyance by use of electrical, magnetic, or electromagnetic energy, of signals of any description; and (2) any of the following as are used, by the person providing the system and in association with it, for conveyance of the signals: (i) apparatus comprised in the system; (ii) an apparatus used for the switching and routing of the signals; and (iii) software and stored data.
(b) Electronic communications service shall refer to services that are principally conveyed by means of an electronic communications network of signals. It includes wired, wireless, fixed, cellular, and/or mobile, or integrated telecommunications, computer, electronic services, including value-added services, or technologies related to such service which are at present available or made available through technological advances or innovations in the future, and fixed and mobile 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, at most, result only in the minimum interference on the wavelengths or frequencies of existing stations or other stations which may be established by law, without in any way diminishing its own privilege to use its assigned wavelengths or frequencies and the quality of transmission or reception thereon as should maximize rendition of the grantee's services and/or the availability thereof.
Sec. 3. Authority of the National Telecommunications Commission. The grantee shall secure from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and the appropriate permits and licenses for the construction, installation and operation of its telecommunications systems or facilities. In issuing the certificate, the NTC shall have the power to impose such conditions relative to the construction, operation, maintenance, or service level of the telecommunications system. The NTC shall have the authority to regulate the construction and operation of its telecommunications system. The grantee shall not use any frequency in the radio spectrum without authorization from the NTC. Such certificate shall state the areas covered and the date the grantee shall commence the service. The NTC, however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of such authority, permit or license.
Sec. 4. Excavation and Restoration Works. - For the purpose of erecting and maintaining poles or other supports for said wires or other conductors for the purpose of laying and maintaining underground wires, cables or other conductors, it shall be lawful for the grantee, with the prior approval of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the local government unit (LGU) concerned, as may be appropriate, to excavate or lay conduits in any of the public places, roads, highways, streets, lanes, alleys, avenues, sidewalks, or bridges of the provinces, cities, or municipalities: Provided, however, That a public place, road, highway, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk, or bridge disturbed, altered or changed by reason of erection of poles or other supports or the underground laying of wires, other conductors or conduits shall be repaired and replaced in workmanlike manner by said grantee, in accordance with the standards set by the DPWH ot the LGU concerned. Should the grantee, after the ten (10)-day notice from the said authority, fail, refuse or neglect to repair or replace any part of public place, road, highway, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk, or bridge disturbed, altered or changed by the said grantee, the DPWH or the LGU concerned shall have the right to have the same repaired and placed in good order and condition, to be charged against the grantee at double the amount spent for such repair or replacement.
Sec. 5. Responsibility to the Public. - The grantee shall conform to the ethics of honest enterprise and not use its stations or facilities for obscene or indecent transmission, or for the dissemination of deliberately false information, or willful misrepresentation, or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.
The grantee shall operate and maintain all its stations, lines, cables, systems, and equipment for the transmission and reception of messages, signals, and pulses in a satisfactory manner at all times and, as far as economical and practicable, modify, improve, or change such stations, lines, cables, systems, and equipment to keep abreast with the advances in science and technology.
The grantee shall improve and extend its services in areas not yet served, and in hazard-and-typhoon-prone areas that shall be determined by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in coordination with the NTC.
The grantee shall also improve and upgrade its equipment, facilities and services, in order to ensure effective compliance with the objectives of Republic Act No. 10639 or "The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act".
Sec. 6. Right of the Government. - The radio spectrum is a finite resource that is part of the national patrimony and the use thereof is a privilege conferred upon the grantee by the State and may be withdrawn any time after due process.
A special rights is hereby reserved to the President of the Philippines, in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity,emergency, disaster or disturbance of peace and order: to temporarily take over and operate the stations, transmitters, facilities, or equipment of the grantee; to temporarily suspend the operation of any station, transmitter, facility, or equipment in the interest of public safety, security, and public welfare; or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any agency of the government, upon due compensation to the grantee, for the use of said stations, transmitters, facilities, or equipment during the period when these shall be so operated.
Sec. 7. Term of Franchise. - This franchise shall be extended and in effect for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act, unless sooner revoked or cancelled. This franchise shall be deemed ipso facto revoked in the event the grantee fails to operate continuously for two (2) years.
Sec. 8. Renewal or Extension of Franchise. - The grantee shall apply for the renewal or extension of its franchise five (5) years before its expiration date which shall be reckoned fifteen (15) days after the publication of the franchise in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.
Sec. 9. Warranty in Favor of the National and Local Governments. - The grantee shall hold the national, provincial, city, and municipal governments of the Philippines free from all claims, liabilities, accounts, demands, or actions arising out of accidents, causing injury to persons or damage to properties, during the construction or operation of the stations, transmitters, facilities, or equipment of the grantee.
Sec. 10. Commitment to Provide and Promote the Creation of Employment Opportunities. - The grantee shall create employment opportunities and shall allow on-the-job trainings in their franchise operation: Provided, That priority shall be accorded to the residents in area where any of its offices is located: Provided, further, That the grantee shall follow the applicable labor standards and allowance entitlement under existing labor laws, rules and regulations and similar issuances: Provided, finally, That the employment opportunities or jobs created shall be reflected in the General Information Sheet (GIS) to be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) annually.
Sec. 11. Compliance with Labor Standards. - The grantee shall comply with the applicable labor standards under existing labor laws, rules, regulations and such other issuances as may be promulgated by the Department of Labor and Employment, taking into consideration the nature and peculiarities of the telecommunications industry.
Sec. 12. Reportorial Requirement. - The grantee shall submit an annual report to the Congress of the Philippines, through the Committee on Legislative Franchises of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Public Service of the Senate, on its compliance with the terms and conditions of the franchise and on its operations on or before April 30 of every year during the term of its franchise.
The annual report shall include an update on the roll-out, development, operation and/or expansion of business; audited financial statements as certified by the SEC; latest GIS officially submitted to the SEC; certification of the NTC on the status of its permits and operations; and an update on the dispersal of ownership undertaking.
The reportorial compliance certificate issued by Congress shall be required before any application for permit or certificate is accepted by the NTC.
Sec. 13. Fine. - Failure of the grantee to submit the requisite annual report to Congress shall be penalized by a fine of Five hundred pesos (P500.00) per working day of noncompliance. The fine shall be collected by the NTC from the delinquent franchise grantee separate from the reportorial penalties imposed by the NTC and the same shall be remitted to the National Treasury.
Sec. 14. Equality Clause. - Any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under other existing franchises, or which may hereafter be granted, upon prior review and approval of Congress, shall become part of this franchise and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the herein grantee: Provided, That the foregoing shall neither apply to nor affect provisions of telecommunications franchises concerning the territory, life span, or type of service authorized by the franchise.
Sec. 15. Repealability and Nonexclusivity 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 grants of the privilege herein provided for.
Sec. 16. Separability Clause. - If any of the sections or provisions of this Act is held invalid, all other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid.
Sec. 17. Repealing Clause. - All other laws, orders, issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
Sec. 18. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
(SGD.) VICENTE C. SOTTO III
President of the Senate
(SGD.) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
Speaker of the House of Representatives
This Act which was originated in the House of Representatives was passed by the House of Representatives on July 31, 2018, amended by the Senate on December 3, 2018, and which amendments were concurred in by the House of Representative on December 11, 2018.
(SGD.) MYRA MARIE D. VILLARICA
Secretary of the Senate
(SGD.) DANTE ROBERTO P. MALING
Acting Secretary General House of Representatives
Approved: FEB 14 2019
(SGD.) RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
President of the Philippines