MANILA — ABS-CBN Corp. said Monday it is offering its transmission network to help government air educational programs in the coming school year, which will see a shift from traditional classroom education to distance learning.
The shuttered broadcast network said it hoped to help government deliver education to students while the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are offering the use of our transmission network to broadcast educational programs all over the country. We hope to help the government continuously educate students nationwide despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic," ABS-CBN said in a statement.
ABS-CBN also said it is offering government the use of all the educational programs it produced over the past 20 years.
"While this is not expected to have any business impact to the company, we are hopeful that our network can help in the education of our students nationwide," the company said.
ABS-CBN operates Knowledge Channel, which has produced more than a thousand educational videos in consultation with the Department of Education.
The media company made the statement hours after President Rodriog Duterte said TV frequencies returned to the government would be used to deliver "uninterrupted, quality education" to students at home.
"TV frequencies reverted back to government for whatever cause or reason... will be used to provide uninterrupted quality education to our children and our shift to e-learning," Duterte said in his 5th State of the Nation Address.
Under its distance learning plan, the DepEd plans to deliver lessons to students through TV, radio, print and digital modules, and online platforms.
Public schools are scheduled to begin classes on August 24 while private schools are allowed to start earlier upon seeking the approval of DepEd's regional directors.
Last July 10, the House committee on legislative franchises denied ABS-CBN's new broadcast license bid despite relevant government agencies clearing the company of alleged irregularities and delinquencies.
ABS-CBN's previous franchise expired on May 4, prompting the National Telecommunications Commission to force it off the air a day after.
Aside from affecting the livelihood of the company's more than 11,000 workers amid a bruised economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the shutdown of ABS-CBN's broadcast operations is seen by various sectors as curtailment of the people's right to information, as well as of press freedom.
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