‘We will cooperate’

The new head of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) on 7 August will “fully cooperate” with the Commission on Audit (COA) to shed light on the alleged overpriced laptops purchased in 2021 by the Department of Education (DepEd).

In a statement, PS-DBM director Dennis Santiago said:
“The PS-DBM, under my watch, shall fully cooperate to address the Commission on Audit’s findings and recommendations regarding the procurement of P2.4-billion worth of laptops for the Department of Education in 2021.

“I shall instruct a thorough examination of the cost of the items involved, as well as its technical specifications. Should the records prove that there are indeed instances of non-compliance with the law and procurement rules, rest assured that we will never tolerate it.”

State auditors flagged DepEd for buying 39,583 units of laptops for public school teachers, through the PS-DBM, amounting to P2.4 billion.

The CoA said the PS-DBM spent P58,300 for one entry-level laptop, which is way beyond its standard retail price.

“The adjustments made thereof resulted in pricey computer laptops with low-end processors which adversely decreased the number of intended beneficiaries from 68,500 to 39,583 public school teachers,” COA said in the audit report of DepEd.

The state auditors noted it could not ascertain the basis of PS-DBM for the procurement of higher price per unit for the entry-level laptops.

The overpriced laptops were procured during the term of then Education Sec. Leonor Briones.

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