Shuttered broadcast network ABS-CBN offered its transmission network for government use as the Duterte administration implements a shift to blended learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hours after President Rodrigo Duterte’s rant against the media giant during his State of the Nation Address yesterday, the network said its commitment to help Filipinos continues despite its closure on May 5 and denied franchise application bid.
“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. We hope to help the government continuously educate students nationwide despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic,” it said in a statement on Monday.
Duterte ordered his Cabinet secretaries to ensure the government can freely use untapped television frequencies to carry out alternative modes of learning as he reiterated that no face-to-face classes will be held without an available COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, a lawmaker proposed the government’s temporary use of these frequencies “as those vacated by ABS-CBN.”
Aside from lending its transmission network, ABS-CBN also offered the use of its educational shows to help students. The broadcasting network has produced education programs such as “Sine’skwela,” “Math-Tinik,” and “Bayani,” among others, which were aired on Knowledge Channel.
“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.
Duterte on Monday said he was a “casualty” of the Lopez family during the 2016 presidential elections. The network has long apologized to him for failure to air his campaign advertisements.
The President, who has continuously lashed out at the network and urged the Lopez family to sell ABS-CBN, has insisted his neutrality over the fate of the media giant’s franchise.