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Gatchalian: Bayanihan 2 has sufficient funds for loans, other subsidies to foster learning continuity

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday assured that the Bayanihan to Recover As One act has sufficient funds for loans and other subsidies that will help schools foster learning continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, also said the measure provides sufficient funding to ensure the job security of teachers and other school personnel who were affected by the health crisis.

Under the ratified bicameral conference committee report on the Bayanihan 2, Gatchalian said academic institutions will have increased access to funds for the purchase of distance learning tools.

However, the senator said private schools availing of these loans or grants have these conditions: retention of personnel and no retrenchment of employees for at least nine months upon receipt of aid.

Section 4 of the proposed Bayanihan 2 calls for the provision of loan assistance, subsidies, discounts, or grants to schools, universities, colleges, and technical vocational institutions for the purchase of information and communications technology (ICT) devices and equipment to be used under alternative delivery modes of teaching and learning, including computers, laptops, and tablets.

He said teachers and students can also apply for these loans and other forms of financial assistance.

“Sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 2, hindi lamang natin matutulungan ang ating mga paaralang maipagpatuloy ang edukasyon sa pamamagitan ng (Under Bayanihan 2, not only can we help schools continue providing education through) distance learning,” he said.

“Mabibigyan din natin ng proteksyon ang mga trabaho ng ating mga guro at kawani sa panahon na ang ating ekonomiya ay humaharap sa isang matinding krisis na dulot ng COVID-19, (We will also protect our teachers and school personnel maintain their jobs during this time when our economy is facing a serious crisis due to COVID-19,” Gatchalian added.

He said the loans and financial assistance will be made available through the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in partnership with government financial institutions (GFIs).

Gatchalian warned that the loans should have terms that are more reasonable than those that are prevailing in the market.

For many schools, the lawmaker noted that the cost of transitioning to distance learning is a financial burden, especially for the smaller institutions with limited resources and technical expertise.

In the long run, Gatchalian said he is confident that helping schools invest in their ICT infrastructure will accelerate modernization in the education sector.

This, in turn, will equip learners with competencies required of the 21st century and Industry 4.0, he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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