PS-DBM submits to NBI documents on contracts flagged by COA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 07:43 PM

MANILA — The Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) on Friday said that it has submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation the relevant documents on contracts flagged by state auditors, including documents on the procurement of controversial laptops for teachers.

"Isinumite po natin sa NBI ang mga dokumentong may kinalaman sa mga isyu na binigyang pansin ng COA upang maimbestigahan nang masusi ang mga ito," PS-DBM's new Executive Director Dennis S. Santiago said in a statement.

(We have submitted to the NBI the documents that are pertinent to the issues flagged by the COA for deep investigation.) 

Santiago said this is to know if there were irregularities or non-compliance to existing laws, adding that the NBI is a "highly competent investigation authority to take over the matter."

COA has flagged the DepEd for purchasing "outdated" and "pricey" laptops for teachers worth P2.4 billion, an issue that DepEd referred to the PS-DBM.

Amid calls to abolish the PS-DBM, Santiago said he looks forward to achieving "procurement transformation not only as to processes, procedures and products that we procure, but the over-all transformation of PS-DBM relative to its structure, system and human resource."

"I want a solid and overall transformation of PS-DBM."

Meanwhile, two of the three firms that supplied the controversial laptops for teachers insisted that they had followed the technical specifications given by the Department of Education.

"The PS DBM solicited bids for the supply and delivery of laptop computers with very specific technical requirements. As qualified bidders, we made an offer and won the comprehensive and competitive bidding fair and square. As of early this year, all units have been delivered to Deped regional offices throughout the Philippines," Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation and LDLA Marketing and Trading Inc. said in a joint statement.

Their statement added that "the public should also note that the Dell Latitude 3420 laptops delivered to the government were custom-built direct from the factory and according to the requirements needed by DepEd and therefore cannot be easily equated to a regular off-the-shelf consumer unit."

"It is inaccurate and unfair to say that the offered price is for the laptops alone," they said.

The firms claimed the laptop sets were "priced competitively" based on the required specifications, including nationwide delivery and other add-ons.

They vowed that they're ready and willing to participate in any proceedings "where we will be given the opportunity to show that our product is reliable and capable for its intended use."

VSTECS Philippines Incorporated was included in the joint venture that received the contract but it was not in the joint statement.

—with a report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

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