Palace mulls study for value-adding sequestered TV stations

August 16, 2010 10:51 am 

MANILA, Aug. 16 — Malacanang targets enhancing the future value of state-run television stations 9 and 13, believing this will help make both media entities more attractive to potential private buyers.

Communications Group Secretary Herminio Coloma said the government must study how it can improve operations of the two stations so both can be worth more and command competitive bids when government privatizes these.

"The stations' future value will be more important than what these are worth at present," he said.

He further raised need for enhancing the stations' operations, noting both already acquired brand equity over the years.

"It's an intangible value," he said.

Coloma noted government must study the matter since overhauling the stations' operations will require multi-million peso funds.

Former vice-president Noli de Castro believes such overhauling is unnecessary since government lacks funds for such purpose and plans to privatize both stations anyway.

He also recalled former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo already approved in principle the plan for business leader Manny Pangilinan's group to buy one of the stations.

However,such plan did not push through.

Malacanang is still convinced government can better secure competitive bids if stations 9 and 13 are truly attractive to investors.

Both stations were among the top media entities during the 1970s.

Funding woes in the succeeding years affected these stations' respective operations including programming.

Among such woes is difficulty in paying wages and benefits of personnel in both stations.

Coloma said Malacanang will look into this problem to help employees concerned.

Stations 9 and 13 have been awaiting privatization for over two decades.

These stations were sequestered after the EDSA Revolution in 1986.

"A long time passed already but there's still no closure to the issue," Coloma noted earlier.

The sequestration was carried out during former president Corazon Aquino's administration.

She rose to power after the February 1986 ouster of her political rival ex-president Ferdinand Marcos.

Earlier, Coloma expressed optimism the present administration can settle the two stations' privatization issue soon.

He attributed such optimism to this administration's thrust towards putting a closure to pending issues.

While awaiting privatization, stations 9 and 13 will operate under Malacanang's communications group. (PNA)

LDV/CJT/mec

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