Rep. Bernadette Herrera on Sunday called on Malacañang to include the allocation for the Education department’s provision of laptops to 880,000 public school teachers in the proposed national budget for 2021.
“We hope that a budget for the purchase of laptops for all teachers in public schools will be included in the 2021 National Expenditure Program to be submitted by Malacañang to Congress in July or August,” Herrera said.
Senator Nancy Binay, meanwhile, said she supports the Aug. 24 opening of classes despite the doubts that the Philippines is not ready for a "blended learning.
She said that even if the school year begins in September or December, the problems on "unpreparedness" remain.
Senator Imee Marcos shared her views, while Senator Christopher Lawrence Go urged the department to lay down an action plan to address the concerns in preparation for the coming school year.
Rep. Roman Romulo urged the leading private corporations to donate online learning tools for public school students at the elementary and secondary levels to avail themselves of tax incentives.
Under the adopt-a-school program, donors of basic education materials may deduct from their gross taxable income up to 150 percent of the value of their contributions, he said.
Herrera said the use of laptops is now more important for public school teachers for their online teaching as part of the Education distance and blended learning program in response to the pandemic.
“We have to make sure that our teachers are equipped with at least the most basic tool for online teaching, which is a laptop,” she said.
The Education department earlier said it needed a P27-billion budget to be able to provide each public school teacher with a laptop.
While the procurement of laptops for the teachers could cost a lot to the government, "it's money well-spent," she said.