DepEd probes sale of teachers’ laptops in Cebu surplus store
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas has opened an investigation into the discovery of a laptop that was custom-built for public school teachers in a surplus shop in Mandaue City.
Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, regional director of DepEd, said they aimed to uncover how the laptop ended up in a local store when it should have been used by teachers for online teaching.
“We are conducting an investigation to check whether or not it really is for teachers in Central Visayas. We monitored those distributed to teachers and so far, all are in the custody of the recipients,” he told the Inquirer on Sunday.
A concerned citizen recently reported to a local media outlet in Cebu about how he acquired a laptop set from a store in Mandaue City for P9,999.
The buyer said he was told that 100 units of the same model were available at the store and that at least eight units were already sold.
According to the buyer, the laptop’s speaker has DepEd’s “Sulong EduKalidad” sticker. The packaging of the headset also has DepEd’s slogan and project “Procurement of DCP Packages” markings.
From other region?
Jimenez said he immediately ordered all superintendents to find out if there were laptops given to DepEd-Central Visayas that were missing but was told that all their units were accounted for. Jimenez said it was possible that the laptops were stolen from another region.
“I appeal to those who bought the same laptops from the store to coordinate with us,” Jimenez said.
“Alarming? Well, in a way since it involves DepEd,” he added.
The DepEd has been under scrutiny after the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the purchase of “pricey” and “outdated” entry-level laptops for teachers amounting to P58,300 each.
In its 2021 audit report, the COA said DepEd bought P2.4 billion worth of laptops through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management when there were cheaper and better options in the market.