Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Jr. may have the best of intentions in proposing under House Resolution No. 1044 the temporary use by the government of ABS-CBN’s television and radio frequencies for distance learning.
However, the proposal is not necessary for the following reasons:
There is no need to use ABS-CBN’s frequencies for distance learning because the government has so much television frequencies in PTV-4 and IBC-13 and also AM/FM radio frequencies in the Philippine Broadcast Service;
Using ABS-CBN’s frequencies can be expensive because towers, transmitters, and allied infrastructures would have to be constructed and there is also the requirement of public bidding, as well as the need for engineers;
Since time is of the essence considering that the school year will start on August 24, 2020, time constraints militate against the use of ABS-CBN’s frequencies; and
Distance learning should ideally be interactive like the use of the Zoom platform via the internet which does not need the availability of frequencies. The government has an existing free WIFI project which can be used for distance learning.
The project is funded by the spectrum users fee collected by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) from telcos with a yearly collection of about P4.0-B. The implementing agency is the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
EDCEL C. LAGMAN