MANILA – Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar on Sunday asserted the urgency to establish a nationwide program that would provide all barangays free access to digital learning resources.
House Bill (HB) No. 9581 or the E-Book for the Barangay Program Act of 2023 tapped the Department of Education (DepEd) to spearhead the program aimed at addressing limited access to educational resources, particularly in rural and marginalized communities.
“The Philippine archipelago poses significant challenges in terms of providing equitable access to educational resources, especially in rural and marginalized communities. The limited physical library infrastructures, inadequate reading materials, and a lack of access to up-to-date digital learning tools exacerbate the situation,” Villar said in her explanatory note.
The proposed legislation seeks to “establish and launch a progressive initiative designed to bridge the digital divide, promote digital literacy, and improve access to quality educational resources for all Filipinos.”
A similar bill was also filed at the Senate (Senate Bill 2313), sponsored by her brother, Senator Mark Villar.
The E-books barangay program will include a digital library platform that will provide a secure and organized database of digital learning resources, including e-books, video lectures, simulations, and other relevant materials in various fields of study and in languages suitable for the local community.
The program would also initiate distribution of electronic devices such as tablets or e-readers, particularly in areas with limited Internet access, she added.
“We need to guarantee equal access to education and learning materials to everyone, especially those who live in far-flung areas. This proposal seeks to make this possible,” Villar said. (Zaldy De Layola/PNA)