House solon files bill converting textbooks into digital formats

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A member of the House of Representatives pushed on Tuesday, Dec. 22, for the swift passage of a measure mandating the conversion into electronic copies and other digital formats of all textbooks amid the shift to blended learning during the pandemic.

Camarines Sur representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte proposed House Bill No. 8020 requiring the digitization of all contents used by publishers participating in the Public School Textbook Program (PSTP) to address the recurring shortage of printed modules in public schools.

“It is no secret that textbooks in public elementary and high schools are limited in number and, as (a) result, our students are forced to share or borrow from one another,” Villafuerte said. “This difficulty is even more evident in the time of Covid-19 when there is a shift to blended or distance learning.”

He said requiring the digital reproduction of textbooks will allow students to have a copy or access to the contents of these learning materials in electronic format without the need for them to borrow from, or share resource materials with, their classmates.

To protect the intellectual property rights of both the authors and publishers of the textbook, Villafuerte said the implementation of the scanning or conversion must comply with the provisions of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

He said the e-books and digital format copies of the textbooks shall also be made available and accessible to all public school students in a manner deemed appropriate and reasonable by the Department of Education (DepEd). — Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)

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