Senator Grace Poe on Monday urged her colleagues to reconsider increasing the budget for the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) “Digital Learners Project,” which was slashed from P3.44 billion down to P100 million.
The program aims to equip 500,000 students and 25,000 teachers with laptops, pocket WiFi devices, and other gadgets needed for distance learning.
Poe cited the DICT’s Tech4ED program as a possible solution to these educational woes.
The Tech4ED program aims to set up learning centers to provide digital employment and educational opportunities for the marginalized. However, she noted that this program also experienced a drastic budget cut from P363 million to a mere P150 million for next year.
“Isa ito sa pinaka-kailangan ng taumbayan ngayon lalo na’t maraming nasalantang imprastruktura noong nakaraang bagyo at nawalan ng mga laptop, computer, at gadgets na kanilang kailangan sa pag-aaral at pagtatrabaho,” said Poe.
Poe’s team recently made more donations through the Panday Bayanihan Foundation led by its chairman and chief executive officer, Brian Poe Llamanzares. The foundation staff and volunteers made the rounds over the weekend handing out relief goods in Brgy. Tañong in Marikina City and Brgy. Paltok in Quezon City and served hot meals for storm victims taking refuge in San Mateo and Montalban, Rizal.
Poe reiterated that these efforts are not enough, saying there is a need for us to build back better and begin making the right investments for the country’s future.
“This is the time to start rebuilding, so let’s equip people with what they need to start over again after surviving the pandemic and consecutive calamities,” she said.