The nominee of a party-list group advocating reforms in the educational system on Friday revealed the failure of the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service to deliver learning materials worth some P5.53 billion that were ordered by the Department of Education.
Assistant Minority Leader France Castro said DBM-PS’s failure to deliver the essential materials for continuing education hinders millions of learners from access to quality education.
Castro, the nominee to the House of Representatives of ACT-Teachers, said the annual audit report of the Commission on Audit shows that the DepEd has P6.65 billion in outstanding fund transfers to PS-DBM.
Of that amount, 83 percent or P5.53 billion was meant for the procurement of computer hardware and software (P5.03 billion) and various instructional and learning materials and textbooks (P502.83 million).
“These P5.53 billion worth of computer hardware and software, textbooks and other learning materials it procured from the DBM-PS in 2020 should have aided thousands of students and teachers in the blended distance learning,” she said.
“This is disheartening to know because teachers and parents are at their wits’ ends in trying to procure gadgets, paper, ink and printers to prepare modules that are needed by the students,” Castro said.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, in a statement, said the P5.53 billion in undelivered funds could have been used to procure 221,200 laptops.
“The Duterte administration shows no urgency in the timely distribution of learning materials and other resources amid the pandemic,” Castro said.
“This is very critical in ensuring that there is continuity of education and that it is still quality education to limit learning loss amid the blended distance learning modes,” she said.
“This is proof that the administration has abandoned the teachers and students to their own devices to find ways to be able to continue schooling. If the administration cares for the education of the youth, it will not allow learning items amounting to such big amount to remain undelivered,” Castro added.