House lawmakers seek probe into row over school learning materials | Inquirer News

House lawmakers seek probe into row over school learning materials

/ 05:46 AM December 14, 2023

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ACT Rep. France Castro (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Makabayan lawmakers are seeking a congressional inquiry into billions of pesos worth of Department of Education (DepEd) learning materials allegedly being held hostage by a service supplier.

Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela women’s party list Rep. Arlene Brosas and Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel filed on Tuesday House Resolution (HR) No. 1516, calling on the House committees on public accounts and on basic education and culture to look into the matter involving the DepEd and Las Piñas-based firm Transpac Cargo Logistics Inc.


The lawmakers cited in HR 1516 the filing by the DepEd of a civil case to regain possession of billions worth of goods allegedly held hostage by the logistics firm, which secured a P667.45-million logistics contract with DepEd in 2021 and involved the storage, transportation, and distribution of equipment and learning materials to different public schools.


The agreement between DepEd and Transpac also entailed two warehouse contracts, worth a total of P57.5 million, for a central warehouse and 15 regional warehouses.

They pointed out that “allegedly, Transpac has been holding off distribution of learning materials of the DepEd due to still unsettled warehousing fees. Meanwhile, according to (DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa), DepEd could not just pay Transpac because it first needs to distribute the materials to intended beneficiaries, which it has failed to do so.”

READ: ACT to COA, Congress: Probe DepEd for ‘insufficient’ learning materials

READ: DepEd finds 155 errors in learning materials from Oct. 2020 to June 2021

READ: Sara Duterte: DepEd to launch digital portal for learning materials


A Commission on Audit observation memorandum indicated that the majority of the undelivered items were Science and Math equipment worth P1.2 billion; P1-billion worth of school furniture; and P79 million worth of technical and vocational equipment.


“It is the primordial duty of the members of the House of Representatives to uphold the interest and welfare of the Filipino people against inefficiency and corrupt practices,” the lawmakers stressed.

They pointed out that “as the Filipino youth and teachers suffer from lack of learning and teaching devices, it is utterly unacceptable to hear that there are billions worth of learning materials allegedly being held hostage in warehouses subcontracted by the company contracted by the DepEd.”

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The lawmakers maintained that “Congress needs to investigate not only the reason why these learning materials remain undelivered … but it should also investigate the alleged corrupt practices surrounding the issue.”

TAGS: Department of Education, learning materials, Makabayan bloc, Raoul Manuel, Transpac Cargo Logistics Inc.

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