June 4, 2023

The city council on Monday has approved through Ordinance 124, s. 2020 the use of P18.4 million from the general fund to procure universal serial bus (USB) flash drives for learners in Baguio for the electronic copies instead of the costly printed copies of their learning modules.
The amount is from the realigned P8.6M earmarked for local travel expenses (P700,000); training expenses (P580,000); textbooks and instructional material expenses (P345,000); maintenance and other operating expenses (P7M); and the P9.8M balance from continuing appropriation of the Department of Education Schools Division of Baguio.
In her letter last Sept. 3 to the council, DepEd-Baguio Superintendent Marie Carolyn Verano stated the schools division, in pursuance to DepEd Order 18, s. 2020 has developed the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan to ensure that learning opportunities are provided to learners in a safe manner through different learning deliveries and the survey they conducted revealed that majority of the learners prefer modular learning through the printed self-learning modules (SLMs).
She said that while SLMs are considered the backbone of distance learning mechanism to accompany textbooks, complemented by other distance learning modalities such as online and educational television, radio, and other social media instructions, the printing or reproduction of such for the city’s 65,000 learners requires an enormous amount.
To address the budgetary constraint on the reproduction of modules, their office has instead considered the provision of flash drives for learners as alternative for the printed modules, which require a huge budget compared to a much lesser estimated cost of P26M for the procurement of the data storage devices.
The flash drives can be used for the electronic copies of all the learning modules, the parent guidebook, the physical and mental health manual, and other learning materials.
Meanwhile, the body discussed with the members of the Baguio Traffic and Transportation technical working group together with the affected commuters/sectors the effect of the implementation of Executive Order 114, s. 2020, which authorized an experimental parking and traffic scheme for certain public utility jeepney lines in the city.
The order, which transferred the loading and staging areas of certain jeepney lines like Gibraltar, Pucsusan, Pacdal, St. Joseph Village, Tiptop-Perfecto, Mines View, and Carantes-Gibraltar to Gov. Pack Road, has received oppositions from affected PUJ operators/drivers associations, commuters, and their respective officials, and the business sectors who raise their concerns and suggestions before the TWG and the city council for consideration.
The petitioners complained that the long distance they have to walk if they are coming from the public market to Gov. Pack Road is burdensome, especially for senior citizens, persons with disability, and pregnant women. This is aside from the added expenses they incur if they have to ride a jeepney to reach Gov. Pack Road or a taxi because of the heavy loads.
The body through Resolution 493, s. 2020 has requested the TWG to reevaluate/reconsider the experimental study in light of all the petitions of the various sectors and to submit its recommendations within 15 days addressing the issues and concerns raised.
In Resolution 502, s. 2020, the operators/drivers of public utility vehicles traversing roads within the boundary of Baguio were urged to have their vehicles undergo at least once-a-week disinfection or as may be necessary.
“Undeniably, public transport is vital part of economic activities in transporting commodities and moving workers and employees running the business establishments and industries from home to their places of work and vice versa, which must be constantly sanitized,” the resolution stated.