MANILA, February 01, 2021 – As part of the whole-of-government approach in assisting learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday formally accepted e-learning gadget donations from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) during the turnover ceremony at South Harbor, Port Area.

“I appreciate the fact that even noon pa, Customs was already contributing to the education [sector]. Hanggang ngayon, it is still articulated by the Bureau of Customs,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said during the on-site ceremony.

The donation consisted of 198 pieces of laptops with specifications of 256 gigabytes (GB) to 1 terabyte (TB), and 4,840 total number of smartphones with 4GB to 8GB RAM and 128GB maximum storage, which will be then donated to public schools.

“What makes it so meaningful for us in the Department is that we did not go begging to the Bureau [of Customs]. But, you took it upon yourself [to help our distance learning initiative] so this is in keeping with the tradition of supporting education,” Briones added

Secretary Briones noted that the initiative is vital in the Department’s goal to improve digital education and reduce the dependency on the printed self-learning modules.

Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero from BOC led the turnover of the online learning devices since he directed the immediate donation of the forfeited shipment to the Department as assistance for the Filipino learners who are under the online learning modality.

Under Section 1141 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), goods subject to disposition may be donated to another government agency after the approval of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who gave his message virtually.

“The unsolicited gifts and donations are even more appreciated because it signals a recognition of the importance of the function of education, and of continually seeing to it that the future of our learners is assured. Your gift, your donation of gadgets is very meaningful to us,” Sec. Briones said.

Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua and Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio, who also attended the ceremony physically, are assigned to evaluate and choose schools to receive the gadget grant.

The said ceremony was also attended by the District Collector of Port of Clark Atty. Ruby Claudia Alameda and Engr. Mariza O. Mandocdoc, Ph.D.