DepEd says ‘limited budget’ affects implementation of computerization program

Published March 25, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

As much as it wants to speed up its computerization program, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that budgetary constraints affect the implementation of the initiative.

Department of Education (DepEd)(MANILA BULLETIN)

“The computerization program of DepEd has been continuing, the computerization program for teachers also started six to seven years ago so it’s not true that we’re just starting now,” Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said in an online press con in Negros Oriental this week.

In fact, Pascua said that the implementation of the computerization program speeds up amid the pandemic. However, he also noted that there are certain limitations like the “limited budget” or allocation.

“If we will give laptops to all teachers, it will cost us P27 billion because that is the funding needed for one laptop per teacher,” Pascua said.

Compared to the P27 billion needed for computerization and for laptops for teachers, Pascua said that DepEd “only received P4 to 6 billion” this year. “That’s not only for teachers, that’s for the entire department including the DepEd computerization for the learners,” he added.

Despite this, Pascua said that DepEd did not stop implementing the program. “We even asked the help of the local government units (LGUs) nationwide – they helped DepEd during the pandemic by providing tablets to their students and laptops for teachers,” he explained.

Pascua noted that almost all concerned offices including DepEd, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) came together to provide gadgets to students and teachers.

This year, Pascua also noted that DepEd will also be distributing laptops as part of the Bayanihan 2 Act. “We will be providing laptops for teachers, maybe about 50,000 will be distributed,” he said.

Early this week, DepEd distributed tablets, cellphones and laptops to teachers and learners of identified “Last Mile Schools” in Negros Oriental as part of the “EduAksyon sa Negros” initiative.

Pascua said that the donated e-gadgets, which were either confiscated, misdeclared, undervalued or smuggled, came from the Bureau of Custom (BOC). Other donations also came from China.

“That’s how the different agencies of government, the instrumentalities of government – not only DepEd, not only DILG, DICT but including the LGUs and with the private sector and other government agencies – help each other,” Pascua added.