THE chairman of the House committee on basic education and culture on Sunday urged the country’s leading private corporations to avail of tax incentives by donating badly needed online learning tools for public elementary and high school students.
Under the Adopt-a-School Program (ASP), donors of basic education materials may deduct from their gross taxable income up to 150 percent of the value of their contribution, according to Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, the panel chairman.
“Business process outsourcing companies, for instance, can donate brand new or even secondhand desktop computers, laptops or tablets for home use by both students and teachers, while those in telecommunications can sponsor free data plans to facilitate remote learning over the Internet,” said Romulo.
Romulo made the statement as the Department of Education (DepEd) prepares to shift to blended distance learning without face-to-face classes amid the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The DepEd has existing guidelines on accepting and processing applications for the availment of tax benefits by private donors under the ASP,” said Romulo.
“We would urge new donors to get in touch with the DepEd’s External Partnerships Service Secretariat for more details on the mechanics of the ASP,” said Romulo.
Through Republic Act (RA) No. 8525, Congress established the ASP in 1998 to mobilize private funds in addressing the public school system’s persistent resource gaps.
Under the program, entities or individuals that help “adopted” public schools may claim a gross income deduction as much as 150 percent of the value of their donation.
For example, should a corporation sponsor P10 million worth of laptops, it may claim a deduction of up to P15 million from gross income.
For purposes of claiming deductions, the valuation of the donation other than cash would be based on the acquisition cost or purchase price of the materials or services supplied.
Contributions of secondhand or used materials would be subject to depreciated valuation.
Under the ASP, learning and technology support such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, e-books, educational films, e-libraries, TV sets, Internet connectivity and cable TV services are among the qualified forms of assistance.
Over the years, one of the biggest contributors to the ASP has been the Knowledge Channel, or K Channel.
The local pay TV channel has been contributing educational television (ETV) infrastructure and facilities to 2.8 million students in over
1,000 public schools.
K Channel delivers a wide-range of curriculum-based programs for elementary and high school students.