Zamboanga mayor orders closure of radio-TV station

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Mayor Maria Isabel Salazar has closed a radio and television station in Zamboanga City and ordered an audit of all local radio and television outfits here.

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E-Media Productions, which has been operating radio and television stations for four years now, was served with a temporary closure order on Monday afternoon for allegedly failing to comply with some legal requirements and documents for it operate.

E-Media Productions is the content provider for WestWind broadcasting network based in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Rey Bayoging, CEO and president of E-Media Productions, said all they were asking was for Salazar to give them a little more time to get the requirements from various government agencies, although they have copies of other legal documents, including business permits, necessary for them to operate.

Rey Bayoging, CEO and president of E-Media Productions, said only the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), not the local government, has authority over them.

“What we are asking for is just a little time to get the other documents Salazar is demanding from us,” he said, adding that they have rejected the closure order.

“We will abide by it if the NTC tells us to stop broadcasting,” Bayoging said.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, an association of radio and television broadcasters, appealed to Salazar, but failed to convince her to give E-Media an extension.

Managers and representatives of local media organizations also pleaded with Salazar.
The closure drew sympathy and protests from followers of E-Media.

Salazar reminded businessmen to comply with requirements for operating a business in Zamboanga City.
Citing, Section 6.2 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Department of Trade and Industry Joint Memorandum Circular 01, Series 2016, she said all business permit applicants are mandated to comply with national laws and regulatory requirements.

“Among the legal essentials are proof of business registration, business capitalization, occupancy permit, contract of lease and barangay [village]clearance. For other industries, such as media, a business permit can only be obtained if the said outfit has complied with statutory requirements specifically the legislative or congressional franchise to operate,” Salazar added.

“Based on records, a number of business establishments are not compliant with requirements under the law and are facing sanctions. Under the Local Government Code, the chief executive is empowered to impose penalties on violators of the law. This, based on Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 or Local Government Code, which states that every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare,” she said.

Local newspapers were not spared from Salazar’s scrutiny as she ordered City Treasurer Romelita Candido to conduct an audit of all media outlets in the city, the first time such as order was ordered by a local government unit.

Media executives said they will comply with Salazar’s order.

Sources said that many establishments have sprouted in Zamboanga City but many of them also do not have business permits.

Many restaurants also do not issue official receipts.

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