MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday it already submitted documents required by the Commission on Audit (COA) after state auditors flagged the agency for purchasing "outdated" and "pricey" laptops for teachers.
In a press briefing, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said the agency is waiting for feedback from the COA after it had submitted "documentary requirements" in relation to the purchase of the laptops.
"We are responding to whatever COA wants us to respond on. And then we'll see kung ano iyong final determination ng COA," Poa said.
(We are responding to whatever COA wants us to respond on. And then we'll see what COA's final determination is.)
"We will always work and cooperate with COA for the improvement of our processes here in DepEd," he added.
In its 2021 audit report on DepEd, the COA flagged the agency for purchasing P2.4 billion worth of laptops through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-PS).
The purchase of the "pricey" laptops resulted in the procurement of fewer units, which also "adversely decreased the number of intended beneficiaries from 68,500 to 39,583 public school teachers," state auditors said.
"Apparently, the supposed number of laptops to be procured of 68,500 units was significantly reduced to 39,583 units which was mainly due to the huge increase of estimated cost from P35,046.50, based on DepEd's submitted and approved [Agency Procurement Request], to P58,300.00 anchored on the DBM-PS' recommendation, which was duly accepted by the DepEd," said COA.
According to the report, initial feedbacks gathered by state auditors in the National Capital Region and Cordillera Administrative Region also found that the laptops were "too slow because the processor is Intel Celeron, which is outdated."
The department purchased the laptops for public school teachers to help them carry out distance learning, as in-person classes were banned due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency plans to resume in-person classes at full capacity in November.
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