Sen. Bong Go backed the calls for the abolition of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management and stressed the need to hold its officials accountable if found guilty of corruption or other irregularities.
The clamor for the abolition of PS-DBM mounted following recent reports of corruption including the procurement of “overpriced” and “outdated” laptops for teachers.
“Para sa akin, dapat na pong buwagin ang PS-DBM kung kakayanin naman po ng ahensya na sila mismo ang bumili. Dapat ayusin po ang sistema ng procurement natin,” Go said in an ambush interview on 30 August in Pasay City.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on 25 August conducted a public hearing regarding the controversial purchase by the PS-DBM and the Department of Education of Intel Celeron laptops at the cost of P58,300 per unit.
This was flagged by the Commission on Audit for being pricey yet outdated. For that unit price, the purchased laptops ended up being more expensive than a MacBook Air with M1 chip, which is currently priced at P57,990.
The DepEd’s initial estimated price for each laptop was P35,046.50. However, due to the 66% increase from the original estimated price, only 39,583 units of the 68,500 laptops intended for teachers were bought.
Go has long been advocating for the welfare of the country’s teachers. The senator has previously urged the national government to provide additional support for public school teachers, citing the hardships they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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