HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – Bataan 1st district representative Geraldine B. Roman recently filed a House Bill seeking for free use of computers with internet access in all public libraries nationwide.
In a post on her official Facebook page she said, “…I introduced a Bill that will provide free use of computers with internet in public libraries across the Philippines.” HB 00616 is “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FREE USE OF COMPUTERS WITH INTERNET ACCESS IN ALL PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7743, ENTITLED ‘AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONGRESSIONAL, CITY AND MUNICIPAL LIBRARIES AND BARANGAY READING CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES, APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.’”
The said House Bill is pending with the Committee on Information and Communications Technology since July 27, 2016. Roman said her bill will allow students to explore a wide array of information necessary for quality education. “Equality goes beyond gender. It means giving all Filipinos an equal opportunity to succeed in life,” she added.
The neophyte lady lawmaker is optimistic her bill will be passed into law to help students excel in their studies “without adding anymore burden to their wallets.” She believes her bill when passed into law will also encourage communities to visit their libraries and explore a variety of learning materials that are available for their use.
In a study published by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the libraries in the Philippines “are in poor condition and in need of basic books.” Internet labs are only accessible to only 6% of the public schools nationwide.
According to the Gearing-up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) Project about one million senior high school students enroll in Philippine public schools and only a small number of them have access to computer laboratories and even a smaller number benefit from internet connection.
GILAS is a multi-sectoral project that aims to bring Internet connectivity to all of the country’s 6,784 public high schools, to enhance the youth’s learning experience and to give them access to a world of information and knowledge. It mobilizes support and resources from the government, private sector, and overseas Filipinos for the cause.