MANILA (UPDATE) - A lawmaker proposed Wednesday that government to use ABS-CBN's former television and radio frequencies to provide alternative distance learning after the House of Representatives denied the network a fresh franchise.
Voting 70-11, the House committee on legislative franchises on Friday denied ABS-CBN's license bid after its franchise lapsed on May 4, forcing it off the air during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions became jobless and those in far-flung areas lost access to information.
Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, who voted against the network's franchise grant, said he has filed House Resolution No. 1044 which seeks to allow government to use vacant television and radio frequencies for remote learning.
Villafuerte said the frequencies would be "especially useful in areas not yet reached by digital infrastructure" such as some communities in Bangsamoro region.
"Inequality and inaccessibility of opportunities such as those pertaining to internet connectivity and possession of a laptop pose a variety of challenges for teachers and learners," he said.
"The unused frequencies may also be used for information on COVID-19 prevention and control, risk reduction and preparedness," he added.