Binay wants free access to DepEd’s online learning platform to be permanent
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay wants telecommunication companies to permanently allow students and teachers to access the Department of Education’s (DepEd) online learning platform without incurring data charges.
In April, DepEd earlier announced that learners and teachers from public and private schools as well as those under the Alternative Learning System could now access DepEd Commons without incurring data charges on their Globe, TM, Smart, Sun, and TNT-powered smartphones, to help ensure educational continuity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During the hearing of a Senate subcommittee on finance on the proposed budget of DepEd for 2021, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that there was a “temporary arrangement” with these telcos on such initiative. She added that DepEd also wanted free access to the site to continue.
“Permanent na sana, Secretary. Maybe with my colleagues in the Senate and together with you ay baka pwede na pagtulung-tulungan natin to convince the telcos na ibigay nang libre o wag na i-charge ‘yung data para doon sa mga users ng DepEd Commons,” Binay then said.
(I hope it will be permanent, Secretary. Maybe with my colleagues in the Senate and with you, we can convince the telcos to provide access to the website for free or not charge the data for users of DepEd Commons.)
“Sana matuloy ‘yung ganitong tie-up. Baka pwedeng i-CSR (corporate social responsibility) na ito ng mga telcos natin dahil malaking tulong ito para doon sa mga magulang kapag hindi na sila nababawasan ng load nila for data,” she added.
(I hope this kind of tie-up will continue. Maybe the telcos can make it as their CSR, as it will be of big help to parents if data will not be charged from their mobile loads.)
According to Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua, “white-listing” between DepEd and the telco companies for this effort is ongoing.
Briones said she has also met with the “big guns” of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications to relay the same request raised by Binay.
“I suppose they are reflecting and maybe some words of encouragement from the legislature and so on will also be of help,” she added.
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