NTC shuts down Legazpi radio station
CMFR/PHILIPPINES –The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered the closure of a radio station in Legazpi City on November 8 for allegedly operating despite an expired permit.
Legazpi City is 339 kilometers south of Manila.
According to the cease-and-desist order, the NTC regional office in Bicol shut down the operation of Zagitsit News FM because of “an expired temporary permit, absence of a studio to transmitter link radio station license, and violation of the terms and conditions of its provisional authority.”
The station owner and manager, however, claim that the move is politically-motivated.
Zagitsit station manager and owner Hermogenes “Jun” Alegre Jr. said that he has filed a motion for 15-day extension and that it was granted. The station, however, was shut down even before the end of the extension period.
Alegre added that for the past six years, the NTC had been regularly inspecting the station to check on its compliance with government requirements.
“We are committed to abide with the law and find legal remedies to address the issue. What is disturbing is [that] politics is all behind this,” said Alegre, a longtime broadcaster and reporter of radio station dzRH.
He described the NTC’s move as “unfair.”
“Why single us out? There is also a radio station owned by a politician which is operating without a permit,” Alegre said without naming the station.
According to Alegre, the closing of Zagitsit FM affected the livelihood of more than 25 employees. He added that the station spends roughly P200,000 a month on their wages and benefits.
Alegre also warned against the impact of the station’s closure on the beneficiaries of Zagitsit’s public affairs programs.