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Vico Sotto says Pasig raised P1.2 billion for students’ tablets, laptops

The Pasig City government has raised P1.2 billion to provide tablets and laptops to its public school students in elementary, junior and senior high school, and their teachers, Mayor Vico Sotto said in a Facebook live briefing on Wednesday, June 17.

This is to enable the city’s 138,000 public school students, many of whom are poor, to continue their education as the country shifts to distance learning.

The city government is also trying to raise some P30 million to provide tablets and laptops to college students at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig.

For households without internet access, Sotto said the local government would provide hotspots where students can download their school modules.

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing schools to shift to distance learning, using electronic devices to cut the need for physical classes.

This has raised questions as many families cannot afford to buy gadgets for their children, and have no access to the internet. 

The Department of Education earlier announced that the new school term would start on August 24, although a bill awaits President Rodrigo Duterte's signature, authorizing him to delay the opening of classes in times of a pandemic or national emergency. 

The President said on Monday, June 15, the national government was considering providing students in remote parts of the country with transistor radio sets, but it has yet to source funds for these.

Wala na tayong pera,” Duterte said. (We have run out of money.)

Sotto early on said the Pasig government would take measures to ensure its public school students would be able to keep up with the new mode of learning the national government was proposing.

"Ano man ang mangyari, hindi natin puwede hayaan na mahuli ang mga mag-aaral natin sa pampublikong paaralan," Sotto said May 26. (Whatever happens, we cannot let our public school students get left behind.)

With elementary and high school students assured of the gadgets they would need for the coming term, Sotto urged the city’s college scholars to still enroll as the local government works to provide them gadgets, too.

“‘Wag kayong tumigil sa pag-aaral. ‘Yan po ang pakiusap ko sa inyo. Wala po kayong dagdag na gastos,” the Pasig mayor said. (Don’t quit school. That’s my appeal to you. You won’t have to spend extra.) – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

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