Solon wants DepEd procurement of 39,000 laptops for teachers probed
MANILA, Philippines — A House leader wants the “questionable” procurement of 39,000 laptop computers by the Department of Education (DepEd) for public school teachers probed.
Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy said Wednesday she received information that the contract for the supply and delivery of the laptops for public school teachers is set to be awarded not to the lowest bidder, but to the second-lowest bidder.
Herrera-Dy said this is contrary to the mandate of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
“We received information that the contract was practically secured by the second-lowest bidder at almost P2.3 billion, which is P167 million higher than the bid of the lowest bidder,” Herrera-Dy said in a statement.
“This is quite alarming and unacceptable because the P167 million that the government stands to lose from this project could be used elsewhere, especially during this pandemic,” she added.
Herrera-Dy said that the lowest bidder supposedly got a post-disqualification notice for allegedly not complying with the requirements, including the required specification for the laptop carrying bag.
The lawmaker said the requirement was ballistic nylon, but the lowest bidder submitted as a sample a bag made from 100 percent polyester.
“Bakit naman ang laptop bag at hindi ang specs ng computer ang naging basehan sa pag-award ng contract sa pagbili ng laptop computers para sa mga guro natin sa public school? Nang dahil lang sa bag?” Herrera-Dy said.
(Why was the laptop bag and not the specifications of the computer used as the basis in awarding the contract for our teachers in public school? Just because of the bag the bidder was disqualified?)
“Mas importante pa pala ang bag na may kabuuang halaga ng P167 million kesa sa specs ng computer. Hindi ba may mali rito?” she added.
(The bag is apparently more important even if it will cost P167 million more. Isn’t something wrong here?)
Herrera-Dy said Congress must do something to prevent the government from getting shortchanged in procurement projects using people’s money.
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