House panel OKs resolution urging TV networks to air educational shows during pandemic school year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) - A committee at the House of Representatives has approved a resolution urging public and private television networks to allot at least three hours a day on educational programs.

In a virtual meeting, members of the House Committee Sustainable Development Goals agreed that this would be a big help as learners transition to home-based learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Various sectors have expressed their support to the measure, including the Department of Education and GMA Network.

The Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas or KBP raised concerns saying not all TV networks would have the space for educational programs that cater to small demographic.

“We should not have a rule that will try one size for all. Kasi may community stations where they might have time or kaya yung format talaga nila (their format) is more attuned to a public service type of programming,” KBP executive director Rey Hulog explained.

Lawmakers, however, pointed out that the measure filed by Alona Partylist Representative Anna Villaraza-Suarez merely encourages networks to comply.

In the resolution, Suarez proposes that expenses incurred by TV networks to produce the educational programs be exempt from donor’s tax and can be deducted from the company’s gross income.

“Time is of the essence as well so this is also the time that we also get creative with regards to how public and private can work together,” Pangasinan 4th district Representative Christopher De Venecia said.

Over 23 million basic education students have so far enrolled for the pandemic school year.

Instead of physical classes, the Department of Education is implementing distance learning, which delivers lessons through various ways including self learning modules, television, and radio.

Classes will officially begin on October 5 and end on June 16 next year.