Carlos G. Dominguez
Secretary of Finance
Secretary Liling Briones of the Department of Education; Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero of the Bureau of Customs; Engineer Mariza Mandocdoc, Vice President of Clark Development Corporation; fellow workers in government; friends in media: good afternoon.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that Secretary Liling Briones was the most outstanding national treasurer the Philippines has ever had, so she really belongs to the family of the Department of Finance. Please give her a big hand. I thank Commissioner Guerrero and his team for their unstinting support for all our efforts to fight the pandemic and keep our people safe.
The Duterte administration has made the protection of our people’s lives and wellbeing the first priority in this global health emergency. We have mobilized all the available resources we have to fight COVID-19. We chose to absorb the economic losses to keep our health mitigation measures in place. Specifically, we have cancelled physical classes and shifted to blended learning to keep our children and their families safe.
Blended learning is the best recourse we have at this time. Even as we have no sufficient digital infrastructure and our students lack the tools to fully appreciate the possibilities offered by remote learning, we need to utilize whatever available resources we have. Completely suspending educational work is much more costly to our youth. I commend Secretary Liling Briones for the relentless effort that the Department of Education has put in to keep the classes going despite all odds.
I am sure that the Department of Education will find the best use of the e-learning devices turned over to them today by the Bureau of Customs. The apprehended 198 laptops and 4,840 smartphones were the result of the joint efforts of the Bureau of Customs and the Clark Development Corporation against smuggling.
I commend the Bureau of Customs for not letting their guard down even during these challenging times. Our customs officers have continuously modernized their processes and intensified their efforts to combat illicit trade.
While these devices may not be significant to close the great digital gap in our society, the donation signifies all government agencies’ willingness to support the continuing education of our youth during this most difficult time.
Be assured that the Department of Finance and its attached agencies will always stand ready to assist the Department of Education in realizing President Duterte’s goal of building a better future for our youth.
Thank you very much.