By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to increase the use of traditional broadcast media platforms such as television and radio to reach the country’s 27.2 million learners under an extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate basic education, arts and culture committee, said using television and radio would boost the department’s online-based education program.
He said using traditional broadcast programs can help students in areas where access to an Internet is difficult, especially those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
“Bagama’t patuloy ang paglaki ng papel ng Internet sa pag-aaral ng mga kabataan, nananatiling malaking impluwensya ang telebisyon sa ating pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay, pati na ang radyo lalo na sa mga malalayong lugar na dumedepende pa rin dito para sa kanilang impormasyon (Even though the Internet’s role in helping our youth study has expanded, television and radio remain as big influencers in our everyday living, especially for those who live in far-flung areas that depend on these platforms for personal information),” said Gatchalian,
Citing a study by global media intelligence firm Kantar Media, Gatchalian said 52 percent of Filipinos still listen to radio based on a 2019 Media Trends Study.
Gatchalian said Dataxis, a global firm specializing in telecom and media business, reported that 18.7 million households in the Philippines still watch TV—a number that is expected to hit 20.7 million in 2024.
He said the same study also showed that around 93 percent of Filipinos prefer TV over other mass media.
He said DepEd could extend its reach into far-flung, rural areas by leveraging access to both TV and radio platforms.
The senator also urged DepEd to learn from other countries in using TV and radio education as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, as classes in all educational establishments remain suspended due to the lockdown.
Gatchalian cited Argentina as an example. Argentina’s Ministry of Education and the Secretariat of Media and Public Communication launched the program “Seguimos Educando” (We Continue Educating). The educational show airs 14 hours of television content and seven hours of radio content.
Gatchalian said DepEd must collaborate with other government agencies such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and other private firms to tap their existing materials or record lessons, which can be aired on state-run People’s Television Network (PTV-4).
DepEd can also enter into a public-private partnership (PPP) to gather more materials and expand viewership and can complement existing educational shows on TV and radio, he proposed.
DepEd launched last month its online platform “DepEd Commons” at the time the ECQ started, to support online-based education in the country. It has gained almost 4 million users since it was launched.
Under Section 9 of Republic Act 8370 known as the Children’s Television Act of 1997, Gatchalian said each broadcasting network is required to allot a minimum of 15 percent of its daily total air-time for child-friendly programs as part of the network’s public service responsibility.
He said this serves as a condition in the network’s bid to apply or renew its Broadcast Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), Provisional Authority (PA), franchise or license with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).