DepEd sets razor cost: P1,878 each
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Northern Mindanao washed their hands of an emerging scandal over the purchase of razors for P1,878 per piece when their actual price was just about P200 each.
The razors were for distribution to students of the Technical Vocational and Livelihood (TVL) course for senior high school in the region.
Allan Farnazo, DepEd regional director, said he believed that there was no irregularity in the bidding for the razors, Gillete Vector, although these were priced at P1,878 apiece. This particular razor features disposable blades.
The same brand and type of razor sells in malls at just about P200 each. The most expensive Gillette variant, Fusion Proglide Power which is battery operated, sells for P1,199 per piece.
Central office price
Farnazo said the purchase price for the item, to be used by those taking up hairdressing, was set by the DepEd national office.
He said the DepEd regional office was limited to choosing items for the course to a list in the TVL tools and equipment database provided by the DepEd central office in Manila.
The database, Farnazo said, “contained technical specifications, estimated cost and product ID number.”
The regional DepEd office, he said, only facilitated the bid and ensured that bidders had complied with requirements by the department’s central office.
He said the purchase of razors was bid out based on requests made by beneficiary schools for items needed in the hairdressing course.
13 razors, P24,414
Farnazo said 13 razors, worth a total of P24,414, were delivered by the winning bidder, Davao City-based N. R. Eustaquio Enterprises Inc., and were part of the P9-million project to purchase materials needed by TVL students.
The price of the razors, Farnazo said, was dictated upon the regional DepEd office by the department’s Manila office.
He said the cost per item of materials for TVL was “based on costing either given by the central office” or on “local market cost as well as estimates given by end users.”
The controversial razors, he said, were delivered at the DepEd division office in this city where the items passed a check made by an inspection team.
“This meant acceptability,” Farnazo said. He said the razors complied with specs listed by “the principal at the start of the bidding.”
The supplier, however, has yet to be paid for the razors and other items delivered to the DepEd regional office, he said.
“No payment will be made for items that are found to be not in accordance with required specifications,” Farnazo said.
He said he expected the division office and the principal of the school that requested the items to “report any concern that they may have with the delivered items.” —Jigger Jerusalem
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