DepEd resolution on P2.4-B laptop purchase ‘out in 30 days’

DepEd resolution on P2.4-B laptop purchase ‘out in 30 days’

MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday that its administrative proceedings on the PHP2.4 billion laptop procurement may be concluded in more or less than a month.

In a Viber message, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa, however, noted that the timeframe may still be adjusted depending on the pleadings of involved parties.

“Based on the latest update given to me, we are hoping for a resolution within 20-30 days, subject to additional pleadings or motions that may be filed by the parties,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

“As to liability, please bear with us, but let’s just wait for the resolution,” he added.

The DepEd earlier said that even before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee released its recommendations, the department had already started its proceedings and requested the Commission on Audit to conduct a fraud audit against the alleged “overpriced and outdated laptops” procurement.

After around two months of the probe, the Senate committee recommended the filing of graft raps against four incumbent and former officials of the DepEd and four others from the Procurement Service – Department of Budget Management (PS-DBM) — two have been recommended to be charged with falsification of public documents; and five current and former officials of DepEd and PS-DBM have been recommended to be charged with perjury.

It also recommended the recovery of the alleged overpricing of at least PHP979 million with accrued interest and damages, as well as the abolition of PS-DBM.

On Thursday, Poa said that the department will “definitely consider” the recommendation on the committee report, insisting that the current administration is keen on improving the efficiency and transparency of its procurement processes.

“Of course, DepEd will always cooperate kung mayroon mang (if there will be) proceedings that are going to take place. If they need documentation on the side of the DepEd, we will definitely cooperate with the process,” he said.

Despite this, the DepEd said that one of the incumbent officials included in the committee report recommendation is still performing current duties.

“At the moment, she is not under preventive suspension,” Poa said.

As of now, the DepEd maintains its willingness to cooperate with other bodies, the Office of the Ombudsman, for instance, in conducting a probe, to improve its procurement processes. (PNA) 

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