DepEd welcomes House probe of P 2.4-B laptop deal
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed support for a proposed House investigation of its allegedly questionable purchase of P2.4 billion worth of “pricey” and “outdated” laptops for public school teachers.
“[We believe] that this matter needs to be resolved immediately and we submit to the process as we commit to transparency and accountability,” the DepEd said in a statement on Monday.
However, it pointed out that the contract should not be considered irregular pending the final report from the Commission on Audit (COA) on the matter.
State auditors earlier flagged DepEd for the purchase of overpriced laptops that reduced the number of intended beneficiaries from 68,500 to 39,583 public school teachers.
Although its procurement request indicated a price of P35,046.50 per laptop, the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM), which approved the budget for the contract, placed the price at P58,300 each.
The COA finding prompted Makabayan lawmakers to file House Resolution No. 189 on Monday, which sought an investigation of the procurement process, noting that this was not the first time PS-DBM had purchased overpriced items for a government agency.
DepEd earlier referred questions about the transaction to PS-DBM, saying it only received the laptops from the procuring entity.
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