The first radio regulatory office was known as the Radio Construction and Maintenance Section under the Telegraph Division of the Bureau of Posts. This section was charged with the enforcement of radio laws and regulations, particularly the provisions of Act No. 3396, known as the Ship Radio Station Law which was enacted on December 5, 1927. This law provides for the installations of radio obligatory for ships of Philippine register to protect life and property at sea.
On November 11, 1931, the Philippine Legislature enacted Act No. 3846, known as the Radio Control Law of the Philippines.Section 8 of the law provides that the “Secretary of Commerce and Communications is hereby authorized to create a Radio Regulation Section, Division or Office which shall take charge of carrying out the provisions of this Act and the regulations prescribed by him, to any bureau or office of his Department, subject to his general supervision and control.” Thus, the Radio Control Division in the Bureau of Posts was created under the Secretary of Commerce and Communications.
In 1939, the Department of National Defense was organized pursuant to Executive Order No. 230. It was realized then that the functions of supervising and regulating the establishment and operation of all radio stations in the country were important to national defense and security. Consequently, the Radio Control Division was transferred to the Department of National Defence.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 94, series of 1947, the Department of Commerce and Industry was created. The Radio Control Division was again transferred from the Department of National Defense to the Department of Commerce and Industry. The reason for the transfer was that in time of peace, the function of radio regulations was a vital factor in the promotion of commerce and industry and in the economic development of the country.
On January 1, 1951, by virtue of the provisions of Executive Order No. 392, the Radio Control Board were transferred to the Department of Public Works and Communications. Actually, The Radio Control Division and the Radio Control Board were two distinct agencies with separate functions. The Division was charged with the supervision and regulation of the establishment and operation of all radio stations in the country. On the other hand, the Board implemented the provisions of the Radio Broadcasting Law, Act No. 3997, regarding the administration of the national radio broadcasting fund derived from radio receiver registration fees collected by the BIR, and the purchase, distribution, and installation of radio receivers to fourth and fifth class municipalities, municipal districts, barrios and selected government institutions. In the Department of Public Works and Communications, the Radio Control Division was under the supervision of the Radio Control Board.
In 1956, R.A. No. 1476 was enacted, abolishing the radio receiver registration fees in effect also abolished the Radio Control Board. The Radio Control Division remained and continued to fuction under the Office of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.
On August 23, 1962, Department Order No. 51 was issued by the Secretary, Department of Public Works and Communications, changing the name of the Radio Control Division to Radio Control Office. As provided in the Integrated
Reorganization Plan of 1972, the Radio Control Office was retained and assumed the functions relative to the supervision and enforcement of policies, rules and regulations involving telecommunications. The Office, which was later named on July 1, 1974, as the Telecommunications Control Bureau, was headed by a Director who was assisted by an Assistant Director. The Office had four divisions and district offices, the number and locations of which were determined on the basis of necessity and effectiveness of the service.
Board of Communications
The Board of Communications, which was created under the Integrated Reorganization law of 1972, was the first quasi-judicial body with the adjudicatory powers on matters involving telecommunication services. The Board was composed of a full-time chairman who was of unquestioned integrity and recognized prominence in previous public and/or private employment; and two full-time members who were competent in all aspects of communications, preferably one of whom was a lawyer and the other an economist. The Director of the Radio Control Office and a senior representative of the Institute of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines were made ex-oficio members. It may be noted that the regular members of the board were experts on telecommunications. The Chairman must have previous employment on telecommunications, and the other two full-time members must be competent on all aspects of communications, preferably one of whom was a lawyer and the other an economist. The reason for this organizational set-up is aptly stated in the
Integrated Reorganization Plan which states that:
“Since technical and economic determinants will govern decisions with respect to economic regulation, the expertise involved should be strongly reflected on the composition of the body so that it can adequately review, revise, and decide on proposals and applications.”
“The Board itself must also have the capability to adequately review, revise, and decide on all aspects under its coverage from both technical and economic points of view. Knowledge of the economic consideration involved must be coupled with the ability to distinguish, detect, and resolve possible conflicts with the corresponding technical considerations.”
The Board of Communications was attached to the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications for administrative supervision. According to the IRP, the DPWTC was in direct possession of facts and situational appraisals inherent in its role in the fields of communications. Adjudicative Boards operating under its umbrella would thus have direct access to the substantive bases for decision.
The National Telecommunications Commission
By virtue of Executive Order No. 546 dated July 23, 1979, the Telecommunications Control Bureau and the Board of Communications were abolished and have been integrated into a single entity now known as the National Telecommunications Commission. It is composed of a Commissioner and two
Deputy Commissioners, preferably one of whom is a lawyer and another an economist. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners should be of unquestioned integrity, proven competence, and recognized experts in their fields, related as much as possible to communications.
The integration of the TCB and BOC into a single entity has for its purpose the effective and unified control and supervision of communications facilities and services.
Executive Order No. 546 has also created the Ministry of Transportation and Communications which has administrative jurisdiction over the National Telecommunications Commission.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 125 as amended by Executive Order No. 125-A dated April 13, 1987, the National Telecommunications Commission is now an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (Sec.14).
The Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (Filipino: Pambansang Komisyon sa Telekomunikasyon), abbreviated as NTC, is an agency of the Philippine government under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology responsible for the supervision, adjudication and control over all telecommunications services throughout the Philippines.
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