DepEd exec: No legal basis in procurement of pricey, outdated laptops | Inquirer News

DepEd exec: No legal basis in procurement of pricey, outdated laptops

/ 06:34 PM September 15, 2022
There is no legal basis on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) purchase of alleged overpriced yet outdated laptops for public school teachers, its procurement director affirmed on Thursday.

DEPED EXEC SPEAKS UP ON LAPTOP PURCHASE: Marcelo Bragado Jr., of the Department of Education (DepEd) Procurement Management Service, gets immunity in order to shed light on DepEd’s alleged purchase of expensive and outdated laptops. Senate PRIB photo / Voltaire F. Domingo

MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Education’s (DepEd) purchase of allegedly overpriced but outdated laptops for public school teachers does not have a legal basis, its former procurement director said.

DepEd former director Atty. Marcelo Bragado Jr. claimed that the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the laptop purchase via the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) was signed and notarized from late May to early June 2021.

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But, an invitation for bidding was issued in May last year despite the lack of MOA.

“In effect, this whole procurement is defective. Wala hong legal basis. Gumastos ho tayo ng P2.4 billion na walang MOA. Humingi ho ng quotation at nag-file ng invitation to bid na wala pong MOA. Is that an accurate description, Atty. Bragado?” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.

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(In effect, this whole procurement is defective. There is no legal basis. We spent P2.4 billion without a MOA. We asked for a quotation and filed an invitation to bid without a MOA. Is that an accurate description, Atty. Bragado?)

Bragado, who was granted a use immunity, answered: “It would appear, your honor, that you are correct. Because based on the documents I have and my personal recollection, I have the MOA signed only last May 28, 2021.”

However, PS-DBM former officer-in-charge executive director Atty. Jasonmer Uayan refuted Bragado’s claim.

“On his allegation that it was signed on May 28, that is not entirely accurate. If you can check closely, I think it was also him who endorsed to our office the notarized document which was dated February 16, 2021,” he said.

Bragado then raised the possibility that the MOA may be antedated as he has records to prove that it was signed on May 28, 2021.

“It appears that it is antedated because in my personal view and professional knowledge, I was the one who was requesting for the signatures of the MOA,” he commented.

DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla supported the PS-DBM’s narrative that the MOA was signed on February 16, pointing out that her office reimbursed the notarial service fee.

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“Kami po sa finance ay kumpleto sa documentation na meron po kayo na MOA dated February 16 and if needed, we will even submit the official receipt of the notarial services made by the office of Director Mark Bragado kasi ni-reimburse niyo po ‘yan sa accounting,” she noted.

(We, in finance, are complete with documentation that you have a MOA dated February 16; if needed, we will even submit the official receipt of the notarial services made by the office of Director Mark Bragado because you reimbursed that with the accounting.)

Bragado denied the allegation, saying that he had no idea about the notarization and that his or Sevilla’s staff may be the one who had the MOA notarized.

After more than seven hours of deliberation, the panel suspended the hearing.

The investigation started after the Commission on Audit flagged the DepEd’s pricey yet obsolete laptop purchase, slashing the beneficiaries from 68,500 to 39,583 public school teachers.

JPV
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TAGS: Blue Ribbon, DepEd, laptops, Senate
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