Sep 4, 2019

To bring more Filipinos into the globally-competitive scene is to provide them with a better education system. There are laws passed by the government concerning the enhancement of education in the country but there are still challenges that continue to constrain every Filipino from learning in their chosen fields such as the lack of access to educational materials.

[Read: The Manila City Library is proof that public spaces aren’t gov’t priority]

That’s why in an effort to create more opportunities for learning, House representative Geraldine Roman has re-filed House Bill 514 which seeks to establish a Philippine online library. This involves the digitization of educational books and materials, as well as, the provision of access to such references for quality primary and secondary education.

In an explanatory note, Roman said this will assist more students in learning especially those who are from provinces, municipalities, or barangays that “are so remote that constructing and maintaining quality library buildings in schools are impractical.”

The bill also states the joint responsibilities of concerned government agencies such as the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the National Library of the Philippines. 

“[DepEd] shall ensure access to the digitized copies of textbooks by providing computers to all primary and secondary public schools nationwide. Similarly, in order to ensure access to the digitized copies of textbooks, the [DICT] shall provide fast and reliable internet access to each primary and secondary public school,” the bill says. 

Roman also ensures book publishers that intellectual property and copyrights will still be respected.

Last Aug. 20, the Duterte administration proposed the national budget for 2020 in which social services like education gets the highest share among all government agencies. The proposed budget for education by 2020 is P673 billion which covers state universities and colleges, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

If this bill will be passed into law soon, we only hope for consistency in implementation and maintenance of quality in providing educational assistance to Filipinos especially for those who are from the far-flung areas. 




Header photo courtesy of Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

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TAGS: digitized books geraldine roman house bill 514 philippine online libary