Pacquiao eyes 'one student, one gadget' program under new normal


Posted at Jan 14 2022 04:58 PM

Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao promised to push for a provision of one gadget per student if he gets elected.

Citing education as "a great equalizer," Pacquiao vowed to pursue a “one student, one gadget” program to create equal opportunities for poor students who struggle under the educational system's “new normal.”

Pacquiao also cited the need to adjust the country’s educational system to the possibility of prolonged restrictions, urging the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to create long-term plans on the use of modular and digital platforms as the modes of instruction.

Pacquiao noted that to be able to cope with with the demands of the “new normal,” students need gadgets they can use for online classes. 

"I think that we have to be ready for prolonged limited face-to-face classes. Hindi pa talaga natin matitiyak kung hanggang kailan itong pandemya at ang kawawa dito ay ang mga kababayan nating mahihirap,” Pacquiao said.

(We are not sure how long this pandemic will last and the most affected are our impoverished kababayans.)

“We will provide every student their own devices to use for their online classes. If possible, we will also look into providing free internet connectivity to marginalized communities to use for online learning.”

He said gadgets can be funded by government savings from corruption, which he estimated at P700 billion to P1 trillion a year. Money can also come from savings generated by trimming fat in the bureaucracy and from intelligence and confidential funds, he added.

“Napakadami nating mga overpaid na mga bureaucrats pero kaunti lang naman ang ambag sa bayan. Sa halip na gastusin ang pera ng bayan para sa kanilang sweldo, mas maigi siguro na gamitin na lang natin para makatulong sa mga mahihirap nating mga mag-aaral,” Pacquiao said.

(We have many overpaid bureaucrats who don't do much for the the country. Instead of spending for their salaries, it's better to use the money to help our poor students.)
Pacquiao said he would also push for public-private partnerships with telecommunications companies to expand and improve the country’s internet system. 

He said this PPP program can include future projects by the newly created Philippine Space Agency that would allow the country to launch its own communications satellite.