Funds for DepEd vehicles approved before pandemic: Palace
The Department of Education's recent purchase of service vehicles worth hundreds of millions of pesos was approved before the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Monday, following criticism from a group of teachers.
"Uulitin ko iyong mga nasabi ko na tungkol din sa white sand dolomite sa Manila Bay: Lahat po ng napro-procure sa taong ito e matagal na pong nasa drawing board," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters.
(I will repeat what I've said about the white sand dolomite in Manila Bay: Everything procured this year has long been in the drawing board.)
"Itong pagbili po ng transportasyon ng DepEd, 2016 pa iyan na-identify na pangangailangan ng DepEd, at ngayon lang po nabili nga. Iyan po ay included sa 2019 budget. Hindi po iyan dinisisyunan sa panahon ng pandemya. Bago pa dumating ang pandemya, naaprubahan na po ang budget na iyan," he added.
(The DepEd's need for transportation was identified way back in 2016, and it was purchased just now. That was included in the 2019 budget. That was not decided upon during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the budget for that was approved.)
The Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) said it delivered 166 units of its Strada 4x4 GLS MT trucks to the DepEd, which would be used by the agency’s engineers for field inspections.
The delivery was on top of the 88 trucks that were delivered to the DepEd last Dec. 5, 2019, bringing the total number of purchased vehicles to 254, the MMPC said in a statement.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said this was an “insensible” use of funds, at a time when teachers have been shouldering the costs of implementing distance learning.
The vehicles will be used by engineers who design classrooms, officials who inspect school buildings after disasters, and those who distribute learning modules, among others, said Roque.