Friday, September 7, 2012

Reform PTV before it's too late.

This blog post is dedicated to the Pinoy Nostalgia TV. Kudos. But this post doesn't denigrate the broadcast network but a time to contemplate and to improve the programming before it's too late.

Before the post proper, this is my own logo for the 60th anniversary of Philippine television that we will show out until the end of 2013.

The whole story goes after the jump.

Telebisyon ng Bayan.
This is what Juan de la Cruz is not completely aware of.

It’s FAILING on its credibility. It’s a VERY DIFFICULT and COMPLICATING challenge that we would take. It takes a VERY LONG TIME if we have no concrete agendas and solutions. It may not be IMPORTANT but labeled as URGENT. This is not POLITICS nor is this about POVERTY. This is all about our STATE BROADCASTING, focusing more on People’s Television Network.

PTV began operating since 1974, about 21 years after commercial television, and currently managed by 1Lt. Cleo B. Donga-as, one of the former members in the Magdalo group of the 2003 Oakwood mutiny. 

The network currently bears the slogan “Telebisyon ng Bayan.” Its goal is to attract viewers and the Government closer or the viewers to inform, to inspire and to educate the public. However, most of Pinoy TV watchers try to stay away from this sick network (save 9:00 p.m. for the Lotto) because of its presentation and government-bias delivery. The presentation one is that’s what I am discussing though it leads into one related troublesome thing: bureaucracy. We will list some real and speculative flaws on the network if you keenly observe what they are doing. 

The Flaws

Almost-all-executive live coverage. When you say about the Government of the Republic, the most credible source of its foundation comes from the current 1987 Constitution. To review, the government is separated into three powers: legislative, executive and judiciary (Article VI to VIII). If you are aware of the most live coverage of PTV, almost all relates to executive branch. Example is, in the most working days at noon, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda handles the press conference and broadcasts live on PTV. What about the remaining two branches? In the judiciary, we may not allow covering live rulings in the Supreme Court, because it may break Chief Justice Sereno’s “dignified silence.” On the other hand, legislative branch would have been a good idea to broadcast so that we want to know how they practice legislative procedures or may aspire the youth to be the future solons of the country. The twist is that sometimes, legislative branch is prone to dangers of corruption that we do not want to see. 

Closed-door financing policy. Currently, PTV’s funding comes from the subsidy of the national government by appropriation. Still, it does not make the full cost, so, they lease their air time to home shopping (EZ Shop and Winner TV), again, it may not complete the full cost, fearing that most of us cannot buy the products they wanted to sell because of the common sense of “consumer education.” 

Weak broadcast graphics. For your frank information, the broadcast graphics on PTV is made up of Adobe Creative Suite, which most professional videographers can easily bought (if they have enough money). It’s not any better than Channels 2, 5 and 7 which they procured two years ago (an election year) some quality broadcast graphics package (Orad and VizRT), costing hundreds of million pesos to invest and to operate. 
On their website, the bid for broadcast graphics and virtual studios cost PHP 2.9 million. That’s right and I react like this. I laughed so hard to their virtual faces. 

Boring programming. Do you know what type of programming should you blame? Endless loops of documentaries that gives dull interest. But I do not want to cancel all documentaries, it's just they don't show up at the right time. Before the great reformat, they broadcast the Concert at the Park, which we gain the spirit of arts and culture. Where is it now? Plus, PTV is home to educational programming, yes, CONSTEL and Eskwela ng Bayan, but now its full of repeats. Goodness, me.

MTRCB ratings before the news. This is an "EPIC FAIL" moment yet against the rule of thumb during news time. When the news starts, commercial networks never show up any MTRCB rating at all (since October 2011) while PTV (also with RPN) did rated PG. Some of the objectionsits would say that the commercial broadcasters violated the memorandum circular rules and PTV did follow. Actually, according to delightfulattraction's Tumblr
"News is not necessarily inoffensive, because there are some events which may be hostile; but it mainly contains information on the current events happening in the entire country."
Heck, if I was him or her, it should not be broadcast like a teleserye. Plus, use a fast narration of the MTRCB rating plug than a slow one if you want to speed up programming delivery, would ya mind?

Timing. PTV doesn't wear a virtual watch on the screen, so, how do we know what time really is in the country? Ugh. Plus, the staff do not know how to execute precise time of their broadcasts and bits and pieces and execute time for breaks. They simply cannot practice punctuality despite of the efforts of the DOST's JuanTime.

Outdated and confusing procedures. In signing-on and off, PTV falls outdated to the use of the MV of our National Anthem. Keeping aside the official procedure of singing and playing Lupang Hinirang, which is protected by law, the current video is gone too unfitting to place today. Another example, during Lotto, major games (6/42 to 6/55) did not sort it in ascending order after the draw as in our tickets because it claims that they can form in "any order." You are trying to confuse Lotto players, aren't you? And a lots more to list...


These are the only flaws I observed. Here are few of my recommendations to fasten up and to live up our frail non-commercial network.
  1. Allot time for live Congressional sessions during weekdays and have correspondent Freddie Abando moderate the roundup (summary).
  2. Change the financing policy of PTV and open the doors for individual or corporate contribution and donation (like U.S. PBS)
  3. Save up their money for quality broadcast graphics package (from Kuya Ramil's suggestion) so that they can get back into mainstream competition.
  4. For the sign-on and off, use the anime version of the National Anthem created by the RockEd Philippines. (Despite of the troublesome criticism, it still keeps the trend alive)
  5. Allow citizens and public agencies to negotiate what programs they wanted to air.
  6. Prioritize news delivery based on importance and impact of the Filipino viewers within the archipelago and the rest of the world.
  7. Decentralize PTV's organization into desirable, viable and feasible regions.
  8. Maximize broadcasting times if there are new ideas involved.
  9. Reintroduce and create new educational program that fits to the educational curriculum, even K+12.
But I cannot do this on my own because I need your help before PTV will go "out of business." The fate of PTV is in YOU, my kababayan TV viewers. Failure in state broadcasting is not an option. Will you let PTV grow with you or die out of nothing? 

(If you want to add more flaws and recommendations, I am happy to hear from your suggestions.)

Updates (9/9/12): Three days before this post, Inquirer published the falling state with reforms of PTV4. Interesting. And some comments in the article made some constructive suggestions. PTV should benchmark or should learn from other state broadcasters across the world, in order to create a mature presentation.


  1. Let's keep PTV grow even more!!!

    1. Have any recommendations or problems found in PTV4?

  2. My suggestion: Reform the Charter

    1. Yes, recapitalize them and they should do some benchmarking on other public broadcasters across the world.

    2. Assure their editorial independence and impartiality