THE SENATE Finance committee asked the Education department to explain its purchases of digital devices for teachers and students this year as the allocation for this budget item is proposed to be doubled in 2022.

Senator María Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos, during Thursday’s hearing, said this year’s procurements did not meet the target and questioned the supposed fluctuation in prices cited by Education officials.

This year’s fund for digital learning devices such as tablets and laptops was P6 billion and this will go up to P11.3 billion in the proposed 2022 expenditure program.

Education Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua said that initially, the department planned to purchase about 37,000 packages of devices this year, but this was changed to about 109,000 after the previous Congress deliberation. Only 65,000 packages were purchased and delivered.

Ms. Marcos said increases in computer prices could not have been so high that the department was only able to buy 60% of the target. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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