Palace defends DepEd’s P370-million purchase of vehicles
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday justified the Department of Education’s (DepEd) purchase of P370-million worth of service vehicles, saying it can be used to deliver modules in light of distance learning.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. said it recently delivered 166 brand new units of Mitsubishi Strada 4×4 GLS MT trucks to DepEd for its field engineer’s inspections.
“Unang una, 2019 budget yan. Yung kanilang need was assessed as early as 2016. At ngayon po, kailangang kailangan po ng DepEd yan dahil nga po kinakailangan i-deliver ang modules sa mga malalayong lugar all over the Philippines,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when sought for comment on the issue.
(First of all, that budget came from 2019. Their need for that was assessed as early as 2016. And now, the DepEd needs to deliver modules in far-flung areas all over the Philippines.)
DepEd’s purchase of the vehicles was criticized, with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers saying it was an “insensible use of education money” while teachers shoulder costs for internet connectivity, among others.
“Bakit yan po ang brand? Yan po ang nanalo sa bidding, talaga naman pong lahat ng government procurement dumadaan po yan sa public bidding, yan po yung pinakamababang responsive bid na nakuha ng DepEd,” Roque said.
(Why choose that brand? It won the bidding. All government procurement undergo public bidding and that is the lowest responsive bid that DepEd received.)
“Alam niyo, ultimately it’s a matter of trusting the head of the office. I trust the President trusts and the entire Filipino nation trusts professor emeritus Leonor Briones. Number one kasangga po natin siya laban po sa korapsyon,” he added.
(You know what, ultimately, it’s a matter of trusting the head of the office. I trust the President trusts and the entire Filipino nation trusts professor emeritus Leonor Briones. She is our number one partner against corruption.)
Meanwhile, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua explained that the service vehicles are meant for engineers who would check structures like school buildings in far-flung towns and those with difficult terrains.
He added that the vehicles will be used for potential calamities like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions — conditions requiring 4×4 pickup trucks.
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