Television, radio, and cable operators have been requested to broadcast educational materials and instructions as part of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) of the Department of Education (DepEd).
In a statement released on Sunday, the department said that it is set to implement a blended learning approach as face-to-face classes are still prohibited, with TV and radio-based instruction being one of the three main set-ups with modular and online learning as the other two options.
The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) headed by Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, as the government agency mandated to oversee broadcasting operations in the country, has issued a memorandum to remind TV and radio operators of its public service obligation, including providing free of charge assistance in the functions of public information and education.
The Commission also released a separate memorandum for cable operators, reminding them of the provisions of Section 6.3.2 Item C of NTC Memorandum Circular No. 4-08-88, which requires them to carry free public service features, including education, cultural and civic.
Under the NTC Memorandum Order No. 10-6-202 dated June 22, 2020, the NTC reminds all radio and TV networks and operators in the country of their obligation on providing “free of charge adequate public service time which is reasonable and sufficient to enable the government, through the broadcasting stations or facilities of the grantee, to reach the pertinent population/s or portions thereof on important public issues and relay important public announcements and warnings as necessity, urgency or law require; provide at all times sound and balanced programming; promote public participation; assist in the functions of public information and education.”
It also states that radio and TV broadcast networks are reminded to provide the national government access to their facilities: “It shall provide free of charge, a minimum of thirty 30 hours/month time or access channel thru its radio/television station facilities to the National Government to enable it to reach the population on important public issues; assist Government, national or local, in the functions of public information and education.”
“The Department is determined to strengthen education delivery through television, whether it is through commercial broadcast TV networks, free channels, government-owned TV stations, and even cable TV networks,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said.
DepEd sait that the initiative is also backed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, who instructed NTC to mandate broadcast stations, channels, and cable TV providers to allocate broadcast hours and the use of equipment and resources to DepEd, free of charge.