House panel OKs resolution requiring 3-hour TV educational programming

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 04:41 PM

MANILA - A resolution obligating all government and privately-owned TV stations to allot 3 hours of airtime to educational programming was approved Tuesday by the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals in the House of Representatives.

ALON Partylist Rep. Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, who chairs the committee, said House Resolution 856 would ensure students will have access to their lessons despite having no internet and gadgets.

Rey Halog of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas said the measure should not be confused with the provision of Republic Act 8370, or the Children’s Television Act of 1997, as the law mandates television to be child-friendly and not necessarily educational.

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro. meantime, highlighted the importance of Knowledge Channel.

"Noong ako po ay nagtuturo ginagamit ko ito sa elementary. At pati sa highschool ay meron din," she said.

PTV-4 said it is supporting the measure by allotting at least 2 hours of airtime daily for educational shows, while GMA-7’s Atty. Ma. Luz Delfin said the network is discussing with DepEd the possible 10-hour use of their 2 digital channels daily.

During the hearing, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that in 2019, only 30 percent of elementary schools have access to internet, 49 percent of junior high schools, and 45 percent of senior high schools.

Malalaluan also noted a decline of students enrolling in private schools.

As of Aug. 17, a total of 23,327,667 students have enrolled from Kindergarten to Grade 12, or 84 percent of last year's total enrollees. Majority are in public schools with 21,664,708, Malaluan said.

The number of students who enrolled in private schools declined by 38.1 percent to 1,640,256, compared to last year's 4.3 million.