a sign on the side of a building: Bureau of Customs Port of Manila

Bureau of Customs Port of Manila

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now conducting an inventory of confiscated gadgets, which the agency plans to donate to the Department of Education (DepEd) to aid in distance learning amid the coronavirus disease.

In a budget hearing on Wednesday, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the agency is now processing the possible donation of gadgets such as cellphones and laptops to the DepEd.

“Right now, we are just processing the deeds of donation so that these can be donated to the proper agency, of course subject to clearances provided by the regulatory agencies that cover these gadgets,” he told senators.

“We will also be donating other school supplies to the DepEd and other agencies,” he added.

The BOC, an attached agency of the Department of Finance (DOF), is mandated to prevent and suppress smuggling and the entry of prohibited imported goods. It also supervises and controls the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft engaged in foreign commerce.

The seized gadgets are expected to be donated to the DepEd, to aid in the shift to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To recall, the DepEd earlier moved the opening of the school year 2020-2021 to October 5 from August 24, due to difficulties brought about by the health crisis.

Data from DepEd said that there have been over 24 million students that have enrolled for the upcoming school year.

However, those from the poor and marginalized sectors have expressed concern over the shift to blended learning, given the difficulty to afford a stable internet connection and the lack of the necessary gadgets.

The DepEd has since rolled out television programs for students, with 27 professional teachers hired to serve as broadcasters.

Aside from gadgets, Guerrero said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has also ordered the BOC to look into other confiscated goods that may be donated to other agencies.

“We have instructions from no less than the Secretary to conduct an inventory of all these items that need to be disposed, and those that can be donated are being donated,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News

This article BOC looking to donate confiscated gadgets to DepEd for distance learning was originally published in GMA News Online.

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