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COA calls DepEd on P4.5 billion fund deficiencies

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COA calls DepEd on P4.5 billion fund deficiencies

The Commission on Audit has flagged the Department of Education over deficiencies in the use of funds amounting P4.527 billion for the implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).

COA noted in its 2021 annual audit report that of the P16.405-billion fund allocated to DepEd for the implementation of the BE-LCP.

The audit revealed several deficiencies covering funds worth P4.527 billion, among them “lapses in budget use” by the ROs of the National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions 3, 7, 8 and 13 totaling P506.315 million; “non-/incomplete submission of the required documents on BE-LCP” fund use worth P205.8 million by ROs 5, 6 and 8; and “non-/delayed submission of perfected contracts and Purchase Orders” worth P390.761 million by ROs NCR, 1, 3, 9 and 13.

Also flagged was P1.752-billion worth of BE-LCP-related procurements by ROs NCR, 1, 3, 4-A, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 13 for “non-compliance” with the implementing rules and regulations or IRR of RA 9184.

Meanwhile, P917.876-million worth of disbursements and procurements still by the ROs NCR, ROs 1, 3, 4-A, 9 and 13 as well as 4-B were flagged for “inadequate supporting documents and other deficiencies.”

Lastly, the COA flagged the “flawed/incomplete/delayed procurement, reproduction and delivery of self-learning modules (SLMs) worth P753.88 million by the ROs NCR, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 1, 3, 4-B, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13.

“Considering the urgency and importance of the printed materials, the incomplete/non-availability of modules on the period in which it is supposed to be used deprived the learners of better learning opportunity and hampers the continuity of the learning process of students during this time of pandemic contrary to the program’s objective,” the COA said.

The CO was likewise called out for the purchase of 39,583 laptops for public school teachers amounting P2.4 billion.

The purchased items were “pricey” for an entry-level type of laptop, according to the COA.

“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 (per unit), based on the DepEd’s submitted and approved Agency Procurement Request, to P58,300 (per unit) anchored on the DBM-PS’ recommendation, which was duly accepted by the DepEd,” the audit body said.

“The huge difference of P23,253.50 per unit price resulted in significant decrease by 28,917 laptop computers, purportedly for distribution to intended recipient-teachers which could have helped them in performing their tasks in the blended learning set-up. Consequently, an estimated 28,917 teachers were deprived of the possible benefits from the supposed provision of these laptops,” it added.

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