ABS-CBN Corp, which went off air after its franchise expired, said it was offering its transmission network for government to use in broadcasting educational programs. It also offered its library of educational shows that span 20 years.
Before YouTube and digital TV, ABS-CBN filled its morning time slots with shows such as "Sineskwela," "MathTinik" and "ATBP,' giving students an extra dose of learning before going to school.
During his State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said frequencies returned to the government would be used for the new normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "These will be used to provide uninterrupted quality education to our children in our shift to e-learning," he said.
He instructed the secretaries of finance, education, justice, budget, science and technology, and information and communications technology to "come up with an integrated program and implementation mechanism to ensure that these TV frequencies are fully utilized by government through the facilities of PTV4 for the utmost benefit of the Filipino people."
In a statement issued after the SONA, ABS-CBN said: "In response to the educational thrust of the government in this time of the pandemic, we are offering the use of our transmission network to broadcast educational programs all over the country."
"We hope to help the government continuously educate students nationwide despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic. On top of our transmission network, we are also offering the use of all the educational programs we have produced over the past 20 years," it said.
Duterte said he instructed the Department of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to connect all public shools under the PEN or Public Education Network.
"Last mile" schools in areas with no electricity will be provided satellite reception and solar panels for education, he said.