PS-DBM admits DepEd laptop MOA is not legal
The Senate blue ribbon committee learned that Department of Education went ahead with the bidding for P2.4 billion worth of laptops without a valid authorization to transfer funds to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) as its purchasing agent.
During the fourth hearing of the committee on the DepEd’s laptop purchase, the current PS-DBM executive director, Dennis Santiago, told senators that it may have been illegal for DepEd and PS-DBM during the previous administration to use a 2017 memorandum of agreement (MOA) because it did not cover the purchase of laptops.
“It’s not normal because as I mentioned earlier, before you commence your procurement activity, you have to have the MOA already. Considering that laptop procurement is not covered, I cannot see how they could have used the 2017 MOA,” he said.
“Not legal, your honor,” he added.
Former PS-DBM acting Executive Director Jasonmer Uayan said that the transaction was covered by the 2021 MOA using the 2017 agreement as basis.
“As far as I can recall, the 2017 MOA is not limited to annexes, nowhere in the body does it limit the procurement activities between posting, 2017 can actually be used for the procurement process,” he said.
But DepEd denied giving instructions to use the 2017 MOA, and that it provided legal advice on the matter.
“So clearly there is inconsistency in the statements, and I have established early on that the 2017 MOA cannot be used because it does not contain the laptops. So that is where we are right now.” Gatchalian said.