‘Underutilized’ IBC-13 can be used as educational channel, says Andanar | Inquirer News
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‘Underutilized’ IBC-13 can be used as educational channel, says Andanar

/ 09:00 PM May 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) can use the “underutilized ” state-owned broadcast network Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) as an educational platform as the government seeks other means for learning in times like a pandemic.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said this Thursday during the joint online hearing of the House committee on basic education and culture, and the committee on higher and technical education.

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“If the DepEd uses this then this entire frequency can be dedicated solely to DepEd,” Andanar said.

Andanar, however, said there are several issues that go along with using state-owned television networks as an educational platform. This, he admitted, includes the ability to reach a greater audience.

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According to Andanar, the audience reach of IBC-13, as well as People’s Television Network (PTV-4), may be improved if it could transmit 60 to 100 kilowatts at least in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Andanar disclosed that both stations are operating below this kilowatts with IBC-13 at less than 20.

Both networks, Andanar said, also have “outdated” towers.

“But this is not to say that we cannot solve this problem. In fact, this is a wake-up call that the government should be strengthening and investing in both TV network agencies that we have,” Andanar said.

Rational choice

According to Andanar, between IBC-13 and PTV-4, the former – being underutilized – “could be a rational choice” to serve as an educational channel.

“By using IBC, we don’t have to disrupt the regular programming of PTV, a channel that is also serving all other government departments and all branches of government including the lower house,” he pointed out.

Andanar said the government can partner with direct-to-home satellite TV companies to supply students in the provinces with satellite boxes so they can attend classes through television.

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The PCOO chief also said that if the government would seek to invest in IBC-13, around P50 million to P100 million will be needed to keep the network “up to speed.”

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, who chairs the committee on higher and technical education, backed the proposal to use IBC-13 as an educational platform.

“I would subscribe with the suggestion that instead of utilizing the very active government TV and radio station that we have right now, we can optimize the underutilized IBC television that we have,” Go said.

Thursday’s discussion was in line with the proposed House Bill No. 6708 or “An Act Establishing the Television Broadcasting Education Program as an Alternative Learning System for Basic Education”.

According to the bill, the Television Broadcast Education Program “is an alternative method of education where students can experience learning and attend classes through aerial broadcasting of a live, real-time class session.”

The bill was approved by the two committees during the hearing.

KGA

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TAGS: alternative learning, Broadcast, DepEd, Education, House Bill No. 6708, IBC 13, Martin Andanar
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