EdCom suggests how DepEd can speed up textbook procurement

EdCom suggests how DepEd can speed up textbook procurement

/ 05:32 AM February 24, 2024

The Department of Education (DepEd) should consider buying long-published textbooks, instead of spending funds developing or looking for new content, to speed up the procurement process for these school materials.

This was the latest recommendation from the Second Congressional Commission on Education (Edcom 2), an advisory body composed of education experts and lawmakers, after DepEd said it only had about three months to provide the textbooks by July 29.

New schedule

The date is the new schedule for the opening of classes this year, after the agency on Feb. 19 ordered a gradual transition to the old school calendar of June to March.


In a meeting with Edcom 2 on Feb. 22, Director Ariz Cawilan of DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Resources said DepEd will have “around 80 percent of textbooks” by its self-imposed deadline of July 7—about three weeks before class opening.


Grades 1, 4 and 7 are the first batch of elementary students who will be provided those textbooks, as they are the first to be given instruction under the “Matatag Curriculum,” which is in its pilot implementation this year.

Cawilan said the successful bidders for publishing those textbooks will be announced by March, after which a notice to proceed will be issued by April.

‘Study the matter’

But this means DepEd only has from May until July 29 to provide those textbooks, as Edcom 2 cochair Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian pointed out.

Edcom 2 Executive Director Karol Mark Yee noted that the procurement process for textbooks used to be about six months for printing and six months for delivery.

“[But] now, they’re saying that in the revised timeline, what used to be one year will now be four months,” he said.

In a statement, Edcom 2 said “it has recommended DepEd to look into the possibility of procuring books that are already available in the market rather than engaging publishers to develop new ones.


Sought for comment about this recommendation, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said “We will study the matter … to see if it’s feasible. We will take that into consideration.”

He said DepEd would still be committed to meet its deadline, adding that the remaining 20 percent of the textbooks will be delivered before July 29.

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“We will strive to deliver all of [the textbooks] … and after that, we will be able to look into the procurement process,” Poa said in a phone interview.

TAGS: Books, DepEd, procurement

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