Integration of early warning broadcast system into digital television planned by NTC
On Tuesday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) announced its plan to integrate an early warning broadcast system into digital television formats. This plan is a collaboration between NTC, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), with the goal of adopting a system similar to Japan’s.
According to Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas director Erwin Galang, who spoke with PTV, the system would be designed to warn the public about impending threats or disasters like Japan’s “J-Alert,” a satellite-based early warning system. Galang emphasized the importance of this system and expressed hopes that it could also be implemented in the Philippines.
However, to achieve this, Filipinos must transition from the current analog format to digital TV. NTC Deputy Commissioner Alvin Blanco assured that this transition is currently under study, and the government is considering providing subsidies to households needing assistance with the switch. Blanco also encouraged households to patronize digital TV services provided by local television networks to access emergency broadcasts.
As of NTC data, almost 83% of households in Metro Manila have already switched to digital TV formats, with fewer than a million remaining on analog. The government is hoping to incentivize the transition to digital television, not only for emergency broadcasting but also to provide an enhanced TV experience and increased programming options.
Currently, telecommunication companies and the NDRRMC control the emergency broadcast system in the Philippines known as the emergency cell broadcast system, which dispatches alert messages via SMS before or after a phenomenon occurs. This system will eventually be replaced by the early warning broadcast system integrated into digital television.