DepED probes emitted laptop sold in Mandaue town

The Department of Education is investigating allegations that its agency-issued laptops – already criticized as overpriced – are being sold at a surplus store in Mandaue City, Cebu.

DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said the regional education office is also conducting its own investigation after the department received criticism for an audit that uncovered the overpriced devices.

“Specifically, they check inventories if anything is missing,” Poa said on the sidelines of the National Child Month press conference.

DepEd is also checking who will be held liable if the sale of agency-issued laptops turns out to be true, “depending on whether the culprit is a DepEd employee or the vendor itself,” he said.

In a report from a Cebu-based daily, a laptop labeled under “Buying DCP Packages” was sold for 10,000 pesos, 72% less than DepEd’s contract price of 36,100 pesos for the same unit.

The unit had visible scratch marks where stickers should have been and came with accessories bearing the DepEd’s “Sulong EduKalidad” sticker.

In its 2021 audit report on the DepEd, the Audit Commission reported the purchase of laptops worth 2.4 billion pesos, which were deemed too expensive and “too slow ” due to “outdated” processors.

The DepEd initially gave an estimated cost of P35,046 per laptop, but later accepted the price from the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) at P58,300, according to the COA report.

The higher price led to fewer beneficiary teachers for the laptops, from 68,500 to 39,583.

State auditors in the National Capital Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region also found through feedback that the laptops were “too slow because the processor is Intel Celeron, which is outdated.” .

The department purchased public school teachers’ laptops to help them with distance learning, as in-person classes were banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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