DepEd admits delay in buying science, math kits worth P2.56B
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) admitted it has not yet bought over 49,000 science and math equipment using its P2.56-billion allocation from the 2014 budget.
One of the causes of the delay is "failed bidding due to noncompliance with Procurement Law of a number of bidders," the department said in a statement sent to Rappler on Wednesday, July 15.
The statement came on the same day Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto slammed DepEd for failing to buy a single equipment despite two years of budgetary allocations:
- P2.56 billion in 2014 - grades 1 to 3 science and math kits for 38,689 schools
- P4 billion in 2015 - grades 4 to 6 science and math kits for 27,919 schools
DepEd "may have valid reasons for the delay but considering the fact that the delivery is now two school openings late, then they ought to have fixed whatever bugs there are by now," the senator said in a statement Wednesday.
He noted that the period from January 1 to June 1 or 150 days should have been "enough time to make the purchase." (READ: More vocational labs needed to achieve K to 12 goal – Recto)
But to date, the department is still bidding out contracts for over 82,000 science and math equipment, using both the 2014 and 2015 allocations.
With the delay, the DepEd took the opportunity to "review and refine" the specifications of the equipment with the help of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development.
"DepEd ensures that these equipment shall be of standard and shall benefit the Filipino learners," the statement read.
Recto emphasized the need for these equipment not only to modernize public schools, but also to help improve students' test scores in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), where the country "ranks low in global report cards." – Rappler.com
School supplies image via Shutterstock
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