‘Misuse and abuse’ of DepEd’s budget
This is a reaction to the letter, “DepEd’s improved fiscal performance” (6/18/18).
The ethical and moral issue at stake is not for the Department of Education to utilize its budget to the full measure and extent, but to spend it wisely. The Commission on Audit invited me last month to their office to shed light on what I wrote in my letter, “Errors in our textbooks” (5/15/18). I asked the COA why the DepEd spent P333 million for the making, printing and delivery of the Grade 3 Araling Panlipunan Learner’s Material, which contains an unacceptable and unforgivable 1,308 errors. Lemons should not cost that much!
In another letter, “Science equipment for Grades 1 and 2?” (9/20/16), I questioned the
purchase of P1.2 billion worth of science equipment for Grades 1 to 3, when science does not exist as a subject in Grades 1 and 2. The DepEd never responded, and the COA did not flag it.
From October 2015 to October 2017, the DepEd spent P10.8 billion to purchase science equipment packages (P1.2 billion for Grades 1 to 3, P2.9 billion for Grades 4 to 6, and P6.7 billion for Grades 11 and 12). Has the COA monitored and kept track of how this humongous amount had been “utilized”?
Five invitations to bid were published in the Inquirer by the DepEd on two separate dates
in 2017—July 25 and Oct. 11—worth P5.3 billion, for the mass production, supply and delivery of science and mathematics equipment packages to various public senior high schools in all regions of the country.
The Bureau of Learning Resources-Cebu was listed as end-user and implementing unit. Why would Cebu be ordering items worth that much for all the other regions, including the National Capital Region, when this is supposed to emanate from the DepEd central office in Pasig? Did the COA not find this “arrangement” questionable?
These examples clearly show irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable misuse and abuse of public funds. Shouldn’t the COA look into these?
ANTONIO CALIPJO GO, [email protected]
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