Solon who voted against ABS-CBN franchise bid wants gov't to use the network's TV, radio frequencies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 15) — Days after House lawmakers denied ABS-CBN's franchise application, a solon proposed that the Duterte administration to use the broadcasting network's former television and radio frequencies for distance learning in the upcoming school year.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymond "LRay" Villafuerte Jr, who admitted he was one of the 70 lawmakers who voted to deny the media giant's franchise bid, said on Wednesday he has filed House Resolution No. 1044. He sought the temporary "use of untapped television and radio frequencies as those vacated by ABS-CBN" as additional forms of media to help the Department of Education carry out "blended" modes of learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Villafuerte said the former frequencies used by ABS-CBN will be useful in areas not yet reached by digital infrastructure, such as some of the communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARRM). He added the frequencies may also be used for COVID-19 information dissemination.

Villafuerte did not explain how the government can use the frequencies  whether it will install transmitters nationwide or pay ABS-CBN for use of its transmitters.

The House Committee on Legislative Franchises on July 10 junked the media giant's license application after its franchise expired on May 4, which forced it to go off air for the second time since martial law in 1972.