The KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas) has partnered with the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) in the fight against illegal radio stations in the country, an alliance formed in time for the 2019 midterm elections. These unlicensed broadcast stations are expected to contribute to the increase in spending as they will most probably get a share of the candidates’ campaign budget.
According to KBP technical committee head and trustee Erwin V. Galang, the proliferation of illegal radio stations usually begins a year before the elections, so it is just right to intensify the fight this year, 2018. In a statement issued last month, Galang said, “KBP is again teaming up with the NTC in ensuring that such illegal stations do not operate. We have filed several cases against illegal radio stations that we have managed to track down courtesy of our partnership with the NTC.”
Most of the NTC administrative cases against these fly-by-night radio stations are cease-and-desist and show-cause orders. Unsuspecting candidates, mostly those in the provinces, are usually the ones that fall prey to these illegal schemes. As per NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, what usually happens is that candidates buy airtime for their campaign ads from these broadcast stations. Once the payment has been given, the stations mysteriously disappear. “What we do is we immediately issue cease-and-desist and show-cause orders against these illegal operators, forcing them to shut down their stations,” Cabarios revealed.
Last year, the Commission on Audit (COA) came out with a report that indicated around 2, 054 cases were filed by the NTC in the broadcast services division. These were all against illegal radio stations with administrative violations.
Carabios is confident that the KBP and NTC partnership will help minimize – and even stop – the sprouting of illegal, unlicensed radio stations in the country. As such, it is expected that the 2019 elections coverage will be orderly, fair, and rational.