As hopes of holding face-to-face classes become bleak, a senior administration lawmaker on Thursday called for immediate government action in stopping the rising cost of computers and other communications gadget in the country.
Rep. Abraham Tolentino (PDP-Laban, Cavite) urged the Department of Education and the Department of Trade and Industry to consider putting a cap at prices of computers and other learning equipment.
He justified his appeal by stressing that these items have become basic tools of learning and are necessary for educating the youth as the COVID-19 pandemic continue to threaten the public.
Tolentino, vice chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accounts and chairman of the House Committee on Accounts, also urged local government units to closely monitor the prices of computer gadgets and set up desks to assist constituents, including teachers, in choosing the right equipment for students.
“Computers sales have soared, so did the prices,” Tolentino lamented.
He also aired the suspicion that basic and lower priced laptops and desktops have fast disappeared in the market.
The administration lawmaker noted that a number of parents and students have started complaining that laptops with Core 1.3 processors that used to sell from P20,000 to P24,000 prior to the pandemic period now cost P28,000 to P34,000.
“Unless government intercedes in behalf of parents and students, the state will be reneging on its duty to protect and promote the right of all citizens, particularly the youth, to quality education,” said Tolentino.
He warned that the cost of computers and other communications gadgets will rise further as the need for learning via Internet becomes more necessary in the country’s educational system under the COVID-19 pandemic condition.