Duterte eyes purchase of radios to aid students in poor communities
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 16, 2020 - 8:11am

MANILA, Philippines — The government is eyeing to buy radios for learners in far-flung communities as the country moves away from traditional face-to-face interactions and shifts to distant learning modes.

But the problem is that the government is running out of funds, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised briefing late Monday evening.

The chief executive said the government is considering buying transistor radios that will be distributed to poor communities that do not have televisions, mobile phones and access to internet connection.

“Baka kung magtagal ito talaga, sayang ang panahon. We might buy the radio at 300 maibigay sa lahat ng—sa lahat ng barangay na maabot ng radio para naman ‘yung mga mahirap may communication sila sa teacher nila,” Duterte said.

(If this goes on for a long time, we are wasting time. We might buy the radio at 300 so we could give these to all barangays so the poor ones will have means of communication with their teachers.)

DepEd will implement distant learning alternatives such as online classes, printed modules or learning through radio and television when classes formally open on August 24.

The president said he will “look for the money” to purchase transistor radios.

READ: Coronavirus response depletes government cash

“We will come up with something in the next few days. Maybe before the end of the week, I would be able to look for the money. Wala na tayong pera ngayon (We don’t have money now). I would look for the money to buy transistor radios to be distributed all throughout the country,” Duterte said.

“We will try to do it. We might not be able to succeed to bring all of it to the barangay level but we will try,” he added.

Some 10.6 million learners have enrolled in public and private schools nationwide as of Monday.

The coronavirus disease that shuttered schools across the archipelago has so far infected 26,420 people, with 1,098 deaths. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 3, 2020 - 4:44pm

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill that grants him special powers to address the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines. Bookmark this page for updates. 

July 3, 2020 - 4:44pm

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima says President Rodrigo Duterte continues to "play victim and recite his weekly lamentation 'wala na tayong pera' despite his emergency powers and a trillion-peso debt expedition.

"Duterte’s Bayanihan Law just expired and it left us no better than we were before. Sa madaling salita, PALPAK," the senator says.

"Tanong ng bayan – “saan ginastos ang pera at mga inutang?” Your answer is probably as good as mine," she adds.

June 25, 2020 - 12:53pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the Palace wants to extend the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act to address future needs like in Cebu City.

The city was placed on lockdown amid the increase of COVID-19 cases.

June 20, 2020 - 1:58pm

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima calls for investigation on the delays and other logistical problems concerning the distribution of cash assistance for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In order for the distribution of the remaining cash aid under the first tranche of the SAP and the cash aid under its second tranche may be facilitated in an expeditious and smooth manner, mechanisms that will respond to the glitches faced in the implementation thereof must be reviewed,” De Lima says.

“A senate inquiry in in aid of legislation will be the proper venue to hear the conflicting claims between the stakeholders, and help resolve the reported attendant issues in the implementation of the SAP – which the Senate, along with the House of Representatives, granted unto the President through the Bayanihan Act,” she adds.


June 19, 2020 - 9:53am

Ombudsman Samuel Martires says his office will issue subpoenas to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for the investigation of the budget for COVID-19 response.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' "The Source," Martires says his office started the investigation even before the lockdown was implemented in March 15.

"We have some documents we want to get from DOH, the subpoena is addressed to the secretary of department," Martires tells CNN Philippines Friday morning.

June 16, 2020 - 12:08pm

Government Service Insurance System reports that they have started to release the life insurance proceeds plus the additional P500,000 benefit  under its Bayanihan Fund for Frontliners to the families of four government frontliners who succumbed to COVID-19.

“GSIS recently released a total of P7.8 million in life insurance benefits plus an additional P2 million in BFF benefits to the legal heirs of four government medical frontliners who died of COVID-19. We are currently in the process of validating the insurance claims of 18 other claimant-families,” says GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet. 

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