The Philippine government is working on a low-cost tablet computer that could bring an end to the days of children dragging heavy schoolbooks around, a cabinet secretary said Wednesday.

The computer will cost around 3,000 pesos (70 US dollars), according to science and technology secretary Mario Montejo.

"This is education in the future: no more heavy textbooks for our hapless school kids. Basically, we really should replace the books," he told reporters.

He also said the move would make Filipinos more competitive in science and technology.

However Montejo said the planned tablet would lack many features common to other such devices in order to make it cheaper.

"Every additional feature will add to the cost," he warned.

He did not say when the proposed tablet would be launched.