a close up of a computer keyboard: A computer keyboard is seen in this file photo. Greg Wood/AFP

© Greg Wood/AFP
A computer keyboard is seen in this file photo. Greg Wood/AFP

A lawmaker on Saturday appealed to the government to remove taxes imposed on gadgets to be used by teachers and students for online classes.

Computers, mobile phones, tablets and other communication devices to be used for blended learning should not be taxed, Quezon City Representative Precious Hipolito Castelo said.

“Removing taxes will considerably reduce the cost of these devices and gadgets, and make them affordable to poor learners and teachers,” the lawmaker said.

Castelo said customs and tariff duties plus 12% value added tax are imposed on the products mentioned if these are imported.

The lawmaker also asked telecommunications companies to improve their Internet and mobile connectivity signals especially in rural areas.

“They can do that if they want to. During the recent lockdown, they offered to boost signals for free. Internet became faster. Now, it’s back to snail pace. Actually, you can have faster Internet if you pay more, which means telcos can do it,” Castelo said.

On Friday, the Department of Education announced it was moving the start of classes for school year 2021 to October 5 instead of August 24 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones reiterated that there would still be no face-to-face learning to ensure the safety of students and school staff despite the deferment of the school opening.

“There will be no face-to-face sessions and sessions will not be limited to online sessions alone. This is because we have adapted the policy of blended learning wherein various modalities are being recommended depending on the situation at the level of the region and the school,” she said. —KG, GMA News

This article Gov’t urged to remove taxes on gadgets to be used for online classes was originally published in GMA News Online.

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