MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) will investigate allegations of overpriced textbooks and computers that were procured during the previous administration.
In a statement, DepEd warned that appropriate sanctions will be meted out against those who will be found involved in the alleged anomalous deals.
“There are allegations about overpriced textbooks and computers procured in 2008-2010. While these alleged anomalous transactions happened in the previous administration, the current DepEd administration will investigate and, if needed, refer to the proper authorities for legal action. DepEd would like to encourage anyone with specific information and/or evidence to present these so that appropriate action may be taken,” the DepEd statement said.
A report by a TV network disclosed that the department under the leadership of then Secretary Jesli Lapus transacted with three suppliers namely: Merryland Publishing Corporation, Vicarish Publication and Trading and Book on Wheels, to purchase textbooks and computers from 2008-2010.
According to the report, the textbooks were priced at around P200-P300, when its actual cost should be somewhere between P50 to P100 because of the cheap paper that was used.
Moreover, the department procured computer packages worth P400,000.
The contracts entered by the department cost billions of pesos with Merryland Publishing being able to grab a total of P2.8 billion in educational material contracts, Vicarish Publication a total of P1.3 billion, and Book on Wheels a total of P1 billion.
Two DepEd undersecretaries allegedly received kickbacks for manipulating the public bidding to ensure that contracts will be awarded to the said publishing companies.