The Department of Education (DepEd) has allotted a total of P2.4 billion for the procurement of laptops for around 68,500 teaching and non-teaching personnel as the country grapples with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevila, during the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday, May 20, said that the laptops for the agency’s personnel are currently are being procured by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The laptops aim to help the personnel under the education sector to cope with the challenges in quarantine restrictions through alternative working arrangements. These will also help public school teachers who are teaching online classes and those who need to attend various webinars and virtual activities recommended by the agency.
During the time of COVID, Sevilla noted that President Duterte – through the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) – has provided P4.3 billion financial assistance given to the DepEd.
The allocation for the laptops of DepEd’s employees, Sevilla said, is included in the government’s second stimulus package to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“P2.4 billion po ang provision for laptops para sa mga 68,500 na personnel kasama ang mga teachers (The P2.4 billion provision for laptops will be for 68 personnel including teachers),” Sevilla said.
Aside from the provision for laptops, Sevilla said that DepEd has also allotted P1.2 billion for the procurement of internet load for teachers; P300 million for students’ subsidies and allowances; P200 million for DepEd TV; P150 million for self-learning modules; and P50 million for DepEd Radio.
“Lahat po ito ay ongoing at tayo rin po ay naghihintay ng susunod pa sa Bayanihan Law 3 ng mga iba pang financial assistance (All of these are ongoing at we are also waiting for the Bayanihan Law 3 for other financial assistance),” Sevilla added.
Meanwhile, Sevilla said that DepEd continues to get the biggest share in the national budget. “Right now, the budget of DepEd is almost P600 billion and we also have the biggest number of personnel in terms of the government bureaucracy of about one million,” she ended.