Does PTV-4’s decision to air Chinese shows violate its own mandate?

June 14, 2018 - 8:10 PM
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, one of the key people managing the state-run network, looks on as he stands before a podium. (Presidential Photo/Ace Morandante)

PTV-4 is under fire after it agreed to air Filipino-dubbed Chinese shows, prompting a closer look at the state-run network’s original function and mandate.

The station is mandated to “develop the broadcasting industry as a medium for the development, promotion and advancement of Filipino nationalism, culture and values that serve as an instrument in the struggle for Filipino sovereignty, identity, national unity and integration,” according to RA 7306 or the “Charter of the People’s Television Network, Incorporated.”

People have expressed their disdain, saying that the airing of Chinese shows could be China’s way of “brainwashing” Filipinos.

Reviewing PTV-4’s mandate 

RA 7306 was signed by former president Corazon Aquino on Mar. 26, 1992 in order to provide Filipinos with “communication structures suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation.”

Its mission is to “inform, inspire, and empower” citizens and the Philippines through its “relevant, trustworthy, and world-class quality television programs and services.”

RA 7306 was recently amended by former president Benigno Aquino III on Mar. 14, 2013 under RA 10390.

Under the amendment, PTV-4 is mandated to be an outlet where they would “foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.”

In addition, they shall be “free from any political or partisan influence” and be “held accountable directly to the people.”

However, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua recently expressed their desire to show Chinese television programs, documentaries, movies and cartoons to PTV-4.

According to him, it is for the Filipinos to “better understand China, its people, their long history, their rich culture, their daily lives, their endeavor and their dreams.”

Chinese people enjoying in a park. (Wikimedia Commons/File photo)

He added that they wanted the Filipinos to understand the “Chinese Dream” and noted they consider the Philippines a “friend and partner.”

Jianhua said, “Please stay assured, in this grand cause, China was, is and will always be standing together with the Philippines as friend and partner, in realizing the Dream of the Philippines.”

PTV-4 is supposed to “provide quality alternative programs for the benefit and moral upliftment of the Filipinos,” as stated in the law.

The new move of allowing Chinese programs to be aired on the state-run network was criticized by Rep. Gary Alejano of the Magdalo party list, saying it indicates a violation of what PTV-4 originally stands for.

He said that the move was a “clear display of the Duterte administration’s surrender to China’s power.”

“PTV is mandated to be a vehicle of the government to promote national pride, identity and culture,” the opposition lawmaker said.