De Lima asks Senate to scrap VAT on gadgets, digital educ materials

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Sen. Leila de Lima has expressed her support for the proposal to provide tax exemptions for educational apps, e-books, computers, tablets and other communication devices to be purchased by students and teachers.

Sen. Leila de Lima (Credit: From her Facebook page)

In a statement, De Lima said the Senate should consider removing the value-added tax (VAT) on gadgets and other digital educational materials if the national government is serious about its proclamation that no learner should be left behind.

“Teachers and students alike should not have to rely solely on personal initiatives and the goodwill of other individuals to keep up with the demands of e-learning. Systemic problems require systemic solutions,” the lawmaker said.

“If the DepEd (Department of Education) and CHEd (Commission on Higher Edication) insist that classes should proceed without further delays, then the needs of the poor and most vulnerable should be addressed first and foremost. Pakiusap lang, huwag na nating dagdagan ang hirap at gastusin ng ating mga estudyante at guro,” De Lima said.

A World Bank study revealed that more than 1.7 billion students have been affected by this gigantic educational crisis worldwide, according to the lawmaker.

“Education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, the use of gadgets and the maximization of a wide array of digital platforms in instruction. Technology has thus become one of the most critical tools to support and aid our teachers and students in light of the need to remain outside of classrooms and the government’s pronouncement of continuing education in the midst of this pandemic,” she said.

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