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COA: DepEd purchased P2.4 billion worth of pricey, outdated laptops for teachers

COA: DepEd purchased P2.4 billion worth of pricey, outdated laptops for teachers

The Department of Education (DepEd) purchased P2.4 billion worth of outdated and pricey laptops for teachers intended for distance learning, the Commission on Audit (COA) said.

COA flagged DepEd for purchasing the P2.4 billion worth of laptops through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-PS) when there are cheaper in the market.

“Based on the initial feedbacks we gathered from the auditors in the NCR and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), they stated that  the delivered laptop computers by the winning bidder are too slow because the processor is …. outdated; and the price is too high based on the specifications as attached to the DepEd Memorandum,” COA said.

COA said DepEd settled and agreed with the price and technical specification provided by DBM-PS.

“Per available documents, the Audit Team could not ascertain the DBM-PS’ basis for adopting the unit price of P58,300. 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 P35,046 to P58,300 anchored on the DBM-PS’ recommendation, which was duly accepted by the DepEd,” COA pointed out.

“The price per unit is pricey for an entry-level type of laptop which resulted in significant decrease in the number of units provided to intended users. The huge difference of P23,253 per unit price resulted in a significant decrease by 28,917 laptop computers. Consequently, an estimated 28,917 teachers were deprived of the possible benefits from the supposed provision of these laptops,” COA added.

COA said that the final amount of P58,000 per laptop unit is not advantageous to the DepEd.

Clearly, the price [scouted in May 2021] is cheaper and the performance of that computer would be way faster/better than the laptop procured by the Department during that same period [in 2020],” COA said.

“The base price of the same model of … laptop available in the market with a better screen currently monitored by the Audit Team revealed that the said model ranges from P22,490.00 up to P25,000.00 only,” COA said.

In addition, COA said that the contract for the purchase of a laptop at P58,000 per unit was awarded to the second lowest calculated bidder.

“Both the 1st and 2nd lowest calculated bidders had filed their Motion for Reconsideration but only the latter’s motion had been granted by the DBM-PS. However, the Declaration of Bid as Responsive and Recommending Award of Contract did not specify the reasons for granting the 2nd lowest calculated bidder’s motion,” state auditors said.