MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has disqualified the production company Ei2 Tech, owned by news anchor Paolo Bediones, from bidding in the second phase of the DepEd TV project worth P654 million.
This developed after Some E12 Tech media workers who used to work for the project asked DepEd to withdraw their names in the second phase because these were included without their knowledge.
Before this disclosure by the media workers, the joint venture of Ei2 Tech and Radenta Technologies had been shortlisted for the second phase of the DepEd TV project.
In a DepEd letter obtained by Rappler on Friday, February 18, the agency wrote that the “bidder failed to justify the withdrawal of the key personnel of the Ei2 Tech, Inc’s production team.”
“Neither has the bidder answered or responded to the allegations of falsifications by the team members and use the latter’s names without their knowledge, as well as their discontinued engagement with Ei2 Tech, Inc. as early October 2021,” the DepEd said.
Bediones’ production house was marred by controversy after some media workers he contracted for the first phase of the project reported they were not paid for the work they rendered.
One of the former program managers of DepEd TV, requesting anonymity, told Rappler that some 200 media workers had not received their compensation amounting to P42 million.
The program manager said a total of 116 media workers agreed to file a case against Bediones in the event there was no settlement. Their lawyers will also be sending Bediones a demand letter.
Rappler reached out to Bediones for a comment on the issue, but he has not replied as of writing. In a Pep.PH article on January 27, he said his company was “fully aware of its obligations.”
“However, there are also some areas of dispute and compliance which have yet to be resolved, like the non-issuance of ORs, unliquidated advances, non-completion of tasks and no clearance,” he said. This is the same reason he told Rappler when we ran the story in March 2021. – Rappler.com