CONGRESS has earmarked P3 billion in fresh funding to enable “smart campuses” in 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs), Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., House appropriations committee vice chairperson, said over the weekend.
“We’ve provided P3 billion in new appropriations to help SUCs quickly develop digitally connected campuses where devices and applications create new experiences that benefit students, faculty and their surrounding communities,” Campos said.
“Students may soon be able to attend classroom lectures remotely from the comfort of their dormitory rooms and use their smartphones to access their grades, pay for meals in campus and borrow books from the library,” Campos said.
Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act that President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Sept. 11, Campos said SUCs can use the P3 billion to fast-track the integration of digital technologies into their learning and administrative systems.
Digital technologies are electronic tools, systems, devices and resources that generate, store and process data.
Apart from the P3 billion, Campos also said that in the National Expenditure Program for 2021, the Department of Information and Communications Technology is spending another P309 million to upgrade the password-free Internet networks of SUCs.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) earlier said that only 20 percent of SUCs are equipped to conduct online classes.
Some 1.3 million students are currently enrolled in all SUCs.
Campos has been batting for greater public access to superior Internet services.
He has a bill categorizing high-speed Internet access as a basic telecommunications service for all.
The measure empowers the National Telecommunications Commission to command PLDT Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., DITO Telecommunity Inc. and other Internet service providers to deliver rising connection speeds within prescribed deadlines or face harsh regulatory penalties.