Majority of smart campus projects completed, CHED says after audit report

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 01:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 01:41 PM

Commission on Higher Education, Sept. 27, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Commission on Higher Education, Sept. 27, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Commission on Higher Education on Wednesday said it completed majority of the projects under its smart campus development program, which state auditors flagged. 

The Commission on Audit in a 2021 report said CHED and 89 state universities and colleges "were not able to implement the program" within the extended validity of the Bayanihan 2 law due to the "lengthy period of time" spent on selecting and approving project proposals. 

"It's completed, most of the projects are completed already," CHED chairman Prospero de Vera said in response to the report. 

"The COA report was 2021 and the project completion was 2022. The projects can be visited by anyone already in different universities," he told ANC's Headstart.

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The program aimed to improve the information and communications technology of state universities and colleges. 

Government allocated P3 billion for the program, of which P2 billion was for improving the interconnectivity of campuses and P1 billion for laptops. 

The P1 billion fund has been reverted to the government, De Vera said.

The CHED had sought the help of the Department of Information and Communications for the specifications of the laptops, but it took too long to respond, he said.

"We have to be very careful because this is a huge amount of money and this is public funds. The DICT took a long time to recommend to us," De Vera said said.

"When finally the specs were given, it was close to June already and the procurement could not be [made]...We were only given a window of 6 months. We were not able to beat the June 30 deadline."