Broadcast giant ABS-CBN this week offered the government its transmission network for the broadcast of educational programs.
“In response to the educational thrust of the government in this time of the pandemic, we are offering the use of our transmission network to broadcast educational programs all over the country,” said the network in a statement on Monday, July 27.
It added, “We hope to help the government continuously educate students nationwide despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic.”
This came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of Nation Address (SONA) wherein he announced that the television frequencies returned to the government will be used for the “uninterrupted, quality education” of students amid the lockdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Duterte ordered Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, and Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan to coordinate with Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to come up with an “integrated program and implementation, making sure that these TV frequencies are fully utilized by government.”
ABS-CBN has the widest transmission network in the country with 35 regional television stations, 16 FM stations, and three AM stations.
The network also offered the use of all educational programs it produced to help students.
“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,” it said.
Malacañang welcomed the offer.
“Kung gobyerno po ang gagamit, salamat po at baka naman pupuwedeng gamitin iyong transmission at iyong mga materyales ng ABS-CBN (If it’s the government which will use them, then thank you for offering to use ABS-CBN’s transmission (network) and materials),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday, July 28.
He also maintained that Duterte did not influence the members of the House of Representatives who rejected the bills seeking to grant the broadcasting giant a new 25-year franchise.
“He was neutral on the House vote. But he has personal views that he shared with the public. But he did not interfere in the House vote,” Roque said a day after Duterte slammed the Lopez Family, owners of ABS-CBN, branding the clan as oligarchs.
“The president said he has forgiven the acts committed against his person and his family. But despite that, he still has a personal stance,” the spokesman added.