Teachers’ laptops at par with gov’t requirements —supplier | Inquirer News

Teachers’ laptops at par with gov’t requirements —supplier

/ 05:59 PM August 11, 2022
Teachers’ laptops at par with gov’t requirements —supplier

Grade 3 teacher Edmund John Gambon checks the performance of a government-issued laptop at Apolonio Samson Elementary School in Quezon City on Tuesday. The Department of Education said it would test if indeed the laptops need replacement. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — The laptops bought for teachers in 2021, which were said to be old and overpriced, meet the government’s technical, price, and performance standards, according to the joint venture that supplied them.

The Commission on Audit (COA) had previously flagged the P2.4 billion worth of laptops bought by the Department of Education (DepEd) through the Procurement Service – Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM). These laptops were meant to help public school teachers implement distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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READ: COA flags DepEd purchase of ‘pricey, outdated’ laptops 

But Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation (SCDC) and LDLA Marketing & Trading, Inc., two of the three members of the joint venture that supplied the laptops, maintained that the laptops were “fully compliant” with all of the requirements set by DepEd and PS-DBM.

“The PS-DBM solicited bids for the supply and delivery of laptop computers with very specific technical requirements. As qualified bidders, we made an offer, and won the comprehensive and competitive bidding fair and square. As of early this year, all units have been delivered to Deped regional offices throughout the Philippines,” they said in a statement on Thursday.

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They then detailed that the laptops were also “priced competitively based on the required specifications, taking into account the cost of the unit, peripherals, software, commercial-grade durability, comprehensive 36-month warranty and technical support anywhere in the Philippines, including nationwide delivery and other add-ons.”

On top of these, SCDC and LDLA said that the devices were also customized to meet the needs of DepEd.

“The public should also note that the Dell Latitude 3420 laptops delivered to the government were custom-built direct from the factory and according to the requirements needed by DepEd and therefore cannot be easily equated to a regular off-the-shelf consumer unit. It is inaccurate and unfair to say that the offered price is for the laptops alone,” they explained.

The companies further pointed out that the joint venture was contracted to provide units with a 10th generation processor, but instead supplied the 11th generation processor, which according to them, were the latest at that time.

Ready for probe

The SCDC and the LDLA maintained that they have been “faithfully honoring [their] after-sales support and warranty, and have been aiding end users through [their] after-sales partners.”

They also reiterated that the COA report is not yet final nor conclusive; nevertheless, they expressed willingness to cooperate with the investigations related to this issue.

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“We are ready and willing to participate in any proceedings where we will be given the opportunity to show that our product is reliable and capable for its intended use,” they said.

Honoring the warranty
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa earlier said that if claims on the overpriced and slow laptops are proven, teachers may get a proper replacement device by invoking the warranty provision with the supplier.

READ: DepEd open to replacing teachers’ ‘outdated, pricey’ laptops

Atty. Ruy Rondain, who represents the LDLA, said this is welcomed if the laptops are still within the 36-month warranty.

“That’s the way they’ve always done business. Kung may warranty, they will honor the warranty (If it is covered by the warranty, they will honor the warranty),” he told INQUIRER.net over the phone.

RELATED STORIES:

Makabayan wants House to probe DepEd’s ‘pricey’ laptops

Senate probe into ‘overpriced, outdated’ teachers’ laptops sought

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Editor: JMS | Post edited: abc (6:46)
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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Department of Education, DepEd, laptops, Procurement Service Department of Budget and Management
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