Although incorporated in May 1987 with businessman and former Senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. as its founding chairman, PCTA’s beginnings could be traced to 1969 when American expatriate Russel Swartley -- together with some Filipino businessmen, including Engr. Fernando Morales -- set up the first cable television system in Baguio City.
Being a new technology, not to mention its high cable infrastructure cost, only a visionary like the young Magsaysay, upon Swartley’s prodding, would dare take up the challenge to put up other cable systems in Olongapo City in 1973, in Subic in 1976 and in Lucena City in 1977.
The Bush administration faced criticism when details emerged of its programme to monitor the phone calls of foreign targets in the US without warrants.
But the development of cable television came to a halt when in June 1977, Presidential Decree No. 1512 granted a 25 years exclusive franchise to install, operate and maintain cable television systems in the Philippines to only one Cable Company. Despite its nationwide franchise, the company operated mainly in San Juan, Makati and Manila.