Malacañang on Thursday acknowledged the possibility of using shuttered ABS-CBN’s frequencies for distance learning, but it would be up to the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

“Ito po ay pagdedesisyunan ni (Education) Secretary Leonor Briones at (CHEd) Chairman Popoy (de Vera),” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque added that the National Telecommunications Commission, as a quasi-judicial body, could designate the frequencies for television and radio-based learning should the need arise.

“Right now, we have (channels) 13 and 4, but it may not be sufficient because we have K to 12 and there’s also the possibility that some institutions of higher learning [would need frequencies],” he said over CNN’s The Source.

The spokesman cited de Vera’s report Wednesday night that 40 percent of public universities and colleges did not have internet connections.

ABS-CBN’s broadcast franchise expired last May 4 and its bid for a new 25-year franchise was rejected by the House of Representatives last July 10.

The pandemic-hit Academic Year 2020-2021 will use distance learning methods, which will utilize internet, television and radio-based learning delivery modes.

“I would say that frequencies are now crucial for education, now at the time of Covid-19,” Roque said.