The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission will look into reports of possible ghost deliveries in the P6-billion procurement deal of the Department of Education (DepEd) after hearing it over my radio program last Friday. I refer to the long-overdue deliveries of vocational tools and equipment for senior high schools all over the country.
PACC’s Atty. Manuelito Luna said over Radyo Pilipinas that deliveries of such learning tools and equipment should not be compromised as they are essential in the students’ acquisition of practical livelihood skills.
“We will ask DepEd what’s causing this delay... President Duterte hates red tape and this is one of them,” said Luna.
The PACC official was shocked upon hearing that it has been over two years since the contract was bid out and the suppliers reportedly have been paid the 15-percent mobilization funds—yet no deliveries came.
A DepEd insider who requested anonymity expressed serious concern that Education Secretary Leonor Briones might not be aware of the overdue deliveries for the Technical, Vocational and Livelihood (TVL) Division under Dir. Mario Laroza.
TVL reportedly bid out P6 billion in 2016 for the procurement of thousands of computers, television sets, refrigerators, air conditioners, and farm and construction equipment such as tractors, bulldozers, pay-loaders, and dump trucks as training equipment for the senior high students in public schools nationwide.
After two years, however, the said learning tools and equipment have not been delivered. Thus, senior high school students in 2017 and 2018 went through their respective vocational or livelihood courses without these educational materials, according to my informant.
Should PACC find veracity in the report, the probe would have to include not only DepEd officials but the TVL suppliers, as well.
The PACC may invite TVL suppliers, including Nika Trading, Scientific Product Co., Red Dot, and EduResources to shed light on the delays in the delivery of these educational equipment.
Secretary Briones should likewise act swiftly and look into allegations that only three to four suppliers corner the juicy contracts of TVL.
Reports have it that after suppliers won the fat contracts and secured the 15-percent mobilization funds, the delivery of the technical or vocational tools remained in limbo.
Worse, these same suppliers who failed to deliver would again join another bidding at TVL. This will be worth hundreds of millions or billions of pesos in transaction with likely the same end result—delayed or no deliveries—according to the same DepEd insider.
I’m sure President Duterte does not like reading stories of this kind.