Teachers and school administrators receive the printers from the provincial government of Palawan. (Photo from the Palawan Provincial Information Office).

The provincial government has distributed 640 HP Smart tank wireless printers to various elementary and secondary schools and educational programs in a bid to enhance the educational facilities and resources in the southern part of Palawan.

The ceremonial turnover of these Special Education Fund-funded printers for the Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan took place from July 17 to 20 in the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Sofronio Española, Quezon, Rizal, Bataraza, and Balabac, Provincial Information Office (PIO) chief Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco said Monday.

Under the leadership of Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates, the successful distribution was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the provincial government, Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council), and the Provincial Information Office (PIO) led by Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco, who is also the Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The printers were received by public schools district supervisors, school heads, teachers, and representatives of the beneficiary schools.

The distribution events in each municipality were attended by board members Marivic Roxas, AristonArzaga, and Ryan Maminta, who expressed their support and delivered encouraging messages. Public Schools District Supervisors, municipal mayors’ representatives, and several LGU officials were also in attendance.

During the ceremonies, Roxas emphasized the importance of the printers in supporting the development and improvement of education, acknowledging that modern technology and digitalization are essential components of today’s education system.

“Naisip ng ating gobernador na sapagkat kayo pong mga guro ang katuwang natin sa development, katuwang sa pagpapaunlad ng kaisipan, lalung lalo na sa edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan—nasa digital age na tayong lahat kailangan na nakakasunod na tayo sa mga modern technology ang sistema ng ating edukasyon,” said Roxas.

Arzaga acknowledged the financial challenges in utilizing the Special Education Fund but highlighted that more funding allows for greater progress in various educational initiatives.

He called on citizens to fulfill their tax obligations to enable the government to provide better support for the education sector.

“Alam naman po natin na maraming gastusin ang pinagkukunan natin sa Special Education Fund, hindi lamang po itong mga printers, kailangan din minsan ng school facilities, kung anu-ano pang ibang requirements sa school lalo na pagdating ng mga palaro, doon rin ‘yun kinukuha. Mas maraming pera ang gobyerno, mas maraming puwedeng magawa kaya ugaliin na magbayad ng tax,” said Arzaga.

Meanwhile, Maminta revealed that the printer project was originally planned in 2021, and funding was sought from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO) through the SEF.

Despite facing some challenges during the bidding process, the project persevered and the printers were successfully delivered to the province in February 2023.

“Inutusan na namin ang aming mga legislative researcher na magsulat ng isang resolusyon at i-address sa LSB na magkaroon ito ng laptop o desktop computer. Ipanalangin natin na mayroon pa tayong natitirang pondo sa SEF dahil doon natin kukunin ‘yan o sa iba pang kaparaanang pinansiyal ng pamahalaang panlalawigan,” he said.

“Ang gusto lang natin ipakiusap na pag-organisa po ninyo ng mga Parents and Teachers Association baka pwedeng maipayo sa mga magulang na religiously ay magbayad ng real property taxes, ‘yung may mga obligasyon, may mga lupa, mayroong mga ari-ariang hindi natitinag na magbayad sila ng real property taxes kasi ang 1% nito ay napupunta sa education sector at may bahagi dito ang munisipyo at provincial government. Inilalaan ito ng provincial government sa iba’t ibang aktibidad sa pamamagitan ng Local School Board katulad ng mga printer na ito,” said Maminta.

A total of 66 printers were distributed to various schools in Balabac; 99 in Bataraza; 96 in Brooke’s Point; 61 in Sofronio Espanola; 83 in Rizal; 98 in Quezon; 102 in Narra, and 35 in Aborlan, adding to the 43 printers provided in May 2023. These printers were allocated to programs like the Madrasah Education Program, SPED Class, Alternative Learning System, Special Science Class, and Alternative Delivery Modes-Open High School Program.

The distribution of 1,611 printers in total is part of the Palawan provincial government’s commitment to improving the education sector by providing vital resources to all schools throughout the province.