Makabayan bloc lawmakers want probe on unauthorized sale of DepEd laptops

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2023 09:14 AM

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MANILA – The Makabayan bloc has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the sale of laptops meant for public school teachers but were instead sold online and in surplus shops in Cebu and Rizal.

In their resolution, ACT Teachers Party-list Representative France Castro, Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel noted that in 2021 and 2022, many teachers did not receive laptops bought by the Department of Education to assist educators for the shift to online learning. 

The lawmakers noted that reports from online news site Rappler revealed that the sale of the laptops was connected to the P667 million contract awarded by DepEd to Transpac Cargo Logistics Inc., a small logistics company in Las Pinas.

Transpac told the news site that DepEd failed to settle P34.5 million in payments to them, which means that the laptops were not delivered. They said their subcontractors were selling these laptops to mitigate the losses they incurred.

The opposition solons also noted that DepEd’s selection of Transpac as its logistics provider for the distribution of laptops is “dubious.”

“Aside from the fact that Transpac’s revenues were halved in the immediate year it bagged the DepEd contract, it does not appear to have warehouses and other facilities outside Metro Manila and has ‘very little liquidity’…citing financial records and other sources,” they said.

The lawmakers said the DepEd may be flagged for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids public officials from entering on behalf of government into any contract or transaction disadvantageous to it.”

--TeleRadyo, 10 May 2023