Bataan solon pushes for online library

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES– Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine B. Roman has refiled a House Bill that calls for the establishment of Philippine Online Library.

Rep. Roman’s latest HB 514 is known as “An Act Digitizing All Books for Public Education and Establishing the Philippine Online Library…”This Act shall be known as the Philippine Online Library Act.

“In an increasingly digitized world, creating globally-competitive Filipinos require a citizenry that is literate, insofar as utilizing information and communications technology is concerned,” Roman said.

She added that digitizing textbooks and establishing the Philippine Online Library creates more opportunities because students are able to enhance their learning experience, even while in remote provinces.

“As public servants, we must do all that we can to support our youth in their education. I believe that establishing the Philippine Online Library can be especially helpful for students who are in provinces so remote that constructing and maintaining quality library buildings are impractical,” she further reiterated.

Congresswoman Roman’s bill suggests that the Department of Education (DepEd) shall create a digitized copy of all textbooks and reference books it deems necessary for the public education of elementary and secondary students and be compiled in Philippine Online Library which shall be jointly managed by the Department of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“Iba na ang Kabataang Pilipino ngayon: mga “techy” na sila at talaga nga namang marunong sa paggamit ng mga makabagong instrumentong pang-komunikasyon. Kaakibat ng Free Public WiFi Act na aking isinulong noong 17th Congress at batas na ngayon, napagisip ko na dapat makabuluhan ang impormasyong makukuha nila sa internet. Hindi lang FB at social media. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit isinusulong ko naman ngayon ang pagtatatag ng Philippine Online Library kung saan mahahanap nila lahat ng babasahing kinakailangan sa kanilang pagaaral ‘online’”, Roman added. 

She added that if this Bill becomes a law, the DepEd will be tasked to ensure access to digitized copies of textbooks by providing computers to all primary and secondary public schools nationwide. Similarly, in order to ensure access to the digitized copies of the textbooks the DICT shall provide fast and reliable internet access to each primary and secondary public school. 

“Hindi na problema ang distansya basta may WiFi. Tipid pa sa textbook at ligtas pa ang mga puno natin dahil “paper-free” ito.(By the way), to book publishers, don’t worry. Intellectual property and copyrights will still be respected. You can also continue to sell books,” Roman reiterated.