Pacquiao to sponsor 13 TV channels for DepEd's distance learning

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will run for president in the Philippines in  2022 having been a senator since 2016 – The Irish Sun
Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao has committed to shoulder the cost of operations for the 13 channels that the government will use for distance learning.

In an emailed statement Monday, Pacquiao said the move comes as students from far-off places have a hard time securing internet connection for online learning, while some have no means to acquire the necessary gadgets.

"Alam ko din na hindi pa 100% coverage 'yang internet natin sa Pilipinas, kaya kahit me pambili ka ng laptop o gadget, hindi ka pa din nakakasiguro na aabot sa 'yo ang mga aralin buhat sa DepEd," he said.

The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier moved the opening of the school year 2020-2021 to October 5 from August 24, amid the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Sa tulong ng mga nasa industriya ng telecommunications, nagawan namin ng paraan para may magamit na 13 TV channels ang DepEd nang walang gastos sa gobyerno at mga estudyante. Kaya wala nang dahilan para hindi matuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga bata ngayong darating na pasukan," said Pacquiao.

The senator's office said the proposal has been submitted to DepEd.  It added that Tim Orbos is heading the program.


"On the cost - again no cost to gov't. But  if one  would pay for  it :  National broadcast at 13 channels/10 M for 8 hrs/day× 20 days/month  would cost millions monthly. In our case, our satellite transmission is at the disposal of the senator for the project covering  utlizing our excess bandwidth. His friends are helping out shouldering other costs," Orbos said in a message relayed by Pacquiao's office.

Data from DepEd said there have been over 24 million students that have enrolled for the upcoming school year.

However, those from the poor and marginalized sectors have expressed concern over the shift to blended learning, given the difficulty to afford a stable internet connection and the lack of the necessary gadgets.

The DepEd has since rolled out television programs for students, with 27 professional teachers hired to serve as broadcasters.

Last month, one of the segments of the English lessons—particularly for the eighth grade—went viral after netizens pointed out a grammatical error.

Pacquiao's announcement came days after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) recalled all frequencies and channels assigned to ABS-CBN Corp.

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