Announcing the decision at the country’s Digital TV Summit, the Department of Information and Communications Technology cited 2013’s Typhoon Yolanda and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake later that same year, as reasons why a faster information distribution system was needed.
Both disasters claimed many hundred lives.
The Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS) complements the efforts of the authorities by allowing users to receive early warnings and real time information during earthquakes, typhoons, and other calamities.
“Digital TV is an inevitable technology that we must embrace. It was developed specifically to enhance aside from the normal viewing experience of the people but [also] for us to attain real time information that affects our lives,” said James Santiago, Consultant to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on the DTTB Migration Plan.
DICT said EWBS had already proven itself in a disaster-prone country such as Japan.
“The bottom line is that the government will have the facility now to deliver this kind of urgent and pressing information to the people,” added Santiago.
The Philippines introduced analogue TV in 1953 using the US NTSC system and has maintained the same system ever since.