MANILA, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Wednesday, February 1, asked the government to look into alleged overpriced cameras procured by the Department of Education (DepEd), after a viral online post showed a camera with the agency markings as costing over P155,000.
The same brand of camera in question can be bought in the market for around P24,000.
“After the certified overpriced bulk purchase of laptops as found by the Senate investigation, now came pieces of evidence pointing to overpricing on purchase of cameras, by the DepEd central office and some field offices. It is both enraging and demoralizing for teachers to hear of such anomalies while we feel everyday the scantiness of funds for education on the ground,” ACT chairperson Vladimer Quetua said.
In 2022, the Senate held five extensive hearings on overpriced laptops procured by the DepEd at the height of the pandemic intended for remote learning. The Senate blue ribbon committee recommended the recovery of at least P979 million from DepEd and procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management and filing of charges against them. (READ: Senate panel wants DepEd, PS-DBM to pay P979M for overpricing laptops)
“It is disheartening that the agency which is supposed to inculcate honesty and judicious use of money among the young generation has been swarmed with anomalies,” Quetua said.
In a Viber message to reporters, DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said that they were checking if the cameras were procured for the agency’s regional offices.
“Sa Public Affairs Service dito sa Central Office, wala po kaming entry level cameras,” he adds. (Here at the Public Affairs Service in Central Office, we didn’t procure cameras that are entry level.) –Rappler.com
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