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Philippine Catholic TV station gets green light

The Philippine House of Representatives has granted a Filipino Catholic organisation a franchise to operate and maintain a television station in the country, the Business Mirror reports.

In plenary session, the House approved a bill granting the TV Maria Foundation Philippines Inc. a 25-year franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain TV broadcasting stations in the Philippines.

The bill requires the organisation to secure from the National Telecommunications Commission permits and licenses for the construction and operation of its stations and not use any unauthorised radio frequency.

The organisation is not allowed to lease, transfer, sell or assign the franchise or the control without the prior approval of Congress.

“The radio spectrum is a finite resource that is part of the national patrimony and the use is a privilege conferred upon the grantee by the State and may be withdrawn anytime after due process,” said Liberal Party Representative Amado Bagatsing of Manila, one of the authors of the bill. 

The foundation’s website states that TV Maria is the only Filipino Catholic channel in the Philippines. It airs news, special features, documentaries, short dramas and shows for children and youth as well as music videos.

TV Maria programmes are in-house productions or those sent in by contributors.