Instead of getting smashed to bits, abandoned gadgets and school supplies by Bureau of Customs (BOC) agents ended up getting donated to the Department of Education (DepEd).
Item such as flash drives, cellphones, multifunction printers, laptops, routers, pocket Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), tablets, computer monitors, school bags, educational books, and children school shoes were handed over by BOC to DepEd in a simple ceremony Tuesday, March 16.
“We understand the needs of the students especially during this time that education is hindered by the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We will continue to support DepEd’s programs to provide quality education to our students,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said during the turnover rites.
Guerrero said the donated items were initially found in abandoned cargoes at the Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport). It is not unusual for the BOC to dispose of the smuggled items that they come across.
The turnover was attended by DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones, DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua, Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, deputy commissioners of the bureau, and Port of NAIA District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan.
Briones thanked the bureau for its continuous support to DepEd and to its Bridge and Distant Learning Program. She revealed that the first donation of BOC consisting of mobile phones and laptops have been distributed to schools in far-flung areas.
Tionko, on the other hand, expressed hope that the donated devices would help address the digital gap and ensure continuous education amid the coronavirus pandemic. (With reports from Ariel Fernandez)