Fundraising initiatives for laptops and other devices for distance learning circulated online amid the looming opening of classes this month.
The Department of Education previously announced that the opening of classes for the school year 2020 to 2021 is on August 24, amid the widespread safety and financial concerns caused by the worsening COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they would follow an online blended approach which include learning through radio, television, online platforms and modules.
Just a few weeks before classes started, some Filipino students from elementary to tertiary schools sought for donations on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #PisoParaSaLaptop.
The funds coursed through digital wallet apps or other online banking platforms will be used to purchase secondhand laptops for their online classes.
Other hashtags used for these individual fundraising initiatives are #PisoParaSaOnlineClass and #PisoParasaTuition.
Good Day!I am Stephanie Kyla Ong, second year college medtech student this year. 20 years old, humbly knocking your…
I'm an incoming freshie at PUP. I created this account to join the cause #PisoParaSaLaptop any amount will definitely help me to buy a 2nd hand laptop for the upcoming school year. Please help me retweet this too.
— DIGITAL COMMISSIONS ARE OPEN | PISOPARASALAPTOP (@jvrngmn) July 28, 2020
Other means to fund laptop needs
While these students took to social media to seek for monetary donations, a college student was recently featured in GMA’s magazine program “Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” for reportedly selling intimate photos and videos of him on Twitter so that he can buy a laptop for his education.
This feature titled “Ang Pangarap kong Laptop” then caused online stir with some online users condemning the lack of provisions from the national government.
So I caught a glimpse of KMJS’ current segment about the how a guy sells his pictures on alter and I can’t help but feel annoyed by the fact that he was more or less forced to do so simply because he needed the money to buy a laptop for online classes
— Andrew (@caw1oooo) July 12, 2020
Others claimed that this is also a practice in other social networking sites.
Pero remember other students selling nudes on omegle just to get funds for enrollment and laptops??? NOT EVERYONE IS PRIVILEGED NOT EVERYONE IS CAPABLE. YES TO ACADEMIC FREEZE.
— ᴸ¹⁴⁸⁵ a l e x 王¨ ☾ (@jackbeomshi) July 27, 2020
Meanwhile, other students turned to online selling to finance their laptops.
hello, instead of piso para sa laptop,,, i'm selling ebooks for only 2 pesos each to raise funds for my studies and to purchase a laptop. purchasing ebooks from me would be a big help, thank you so much!
✨ dm me for ebook request
✨ dm me for more info
✨ mop: GCASH only
— rt my pinned please 🥺🥺🥺 (@kinaiyaebooks) July 29, 2020
Hi! i'm selling some of my Original watercolor Works
( see photos for details, my babies need new homes )
I'm selling my works for my siblings laptop for this S.Y.
– i'm also planning to sell art prints, please let me know your opinion about it.
Rt's are appreciated pic.twitter.com/LeLlwCG0zm
— tubigatpapel COMMISSION OPEN (@tubigatpapel) July 29, 2020
Other donation drives
To help address the students’ financial woes and lack of gadgets, some government officials, institutions, organizations and personalities also launched donation drives.
Vice President Leni Robredo with the help of veteran journalist Ed Lingao gathered donated gadgets to be given away via Lingao’s “The Laptop Project.”
Our Gadget Donation Drive is in full swing!!Yesterday, Journalist Ed Lingao came over and donated laptops, complete…
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also previously raised funds to buy laptops for students within his jurisdiction.
In the past months, Heart Evangelista also gave away tablets to deserving students through her social accounts.
The University of the Philippines, meanwhile, also sought donations on Facebook for its scholars under the hashtag #KaagapayUP.
More than 5,600 UP students can’t afford remote learning. They need your help. Be their kaagapay—someone who shares…
Aside from gadgets, initiatives to gather ream of bond paper and printer ink for the modules of students were also launched under the “Bond paper mo, module ko” or “Bond paper/ink mo, module ko” project.
good day, everyone!! we, a group of shs students, started AMBAGAN 2020 to support this year's Brigada Eskwela: Bond Paper/Ink Mo, Para sa Modyul Ko! please help us gather donations by retweeting this post! thank you so much! ❤️
— 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙨 (@itstrishxmae) July 31, 2020
DepEd implemented the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan for blended learning and distance learning as the alternative learning method to help prevent viral transmissions among students and teachers.
Since the start of the lockdown last March, various youth and student organizations across the country had been calling for the suspension of online classes, tuition refunds and recently, an “academic freeze”” until mass testing is effectively carried out.
No promises to fund blended learning
In nearly all his national addresses, President Rodrigo Duterte had been telling the public that the government doesn’t have money for COVID-19 response, including provisions for the BEL-CP.
During a briefing last June 15, Duterte said that he will still look for money to purchase radios priced at P300 for students in far-flung provinces.
Such a pronouncement, however, contradicted the Department of Budget and Management’s budget tracker for COVID-19 provided by the now-expired Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
As of June 30, two allocations were released to the DepEd—P8,134,411,000.00 and P2,776,709,000.00—to be used “to cover funding requirements for the implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan.”
Last July, the DepEd also planned to tap the local government’s special education fund (SEF) for its learning continuity program.
During the Fifth State of the Nation Address, Duterte announced that he will not allow the “traditional face-to-face” educational approach until a vaccine for COVID-19 is made available.
“Until the COVID-19 vaccine is available, I will not allow the traditional face-to-face teaching or learning unless [all] risks of exposure to sickness are eliminated. I cannot and will not put to risk the health and lives of our students and teachers,” Duterte said.
However, prior to this, on July 21, he approved limited face-to-face classes in areas considered low-risk of COVID-19 transmissions.
Briones said that these on-site settings would still be limited and would strictly comply with the minimum health protocols.
Last week, Duterte also said he was considering allowing the opening of schools within the last quarter of the year.
In view of this, latest reports said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease is expected to decide on the opening of schools during its next meeting.