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MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers called for an investigation into the billions worth of learning materials that the Department of Education (DepEd) has allegedly failed to deliver to intended beneficiaries.
Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives are pushing for the inquiry on the mess through the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Education.
This comes over a week after Rappler reported that the DepEd has since filed a civil case against Las Piñas-based Transpac Cargo Logistics Incorporated, which was the firm contracted for the delivery of learning materials to public schools.
“As the Filipino youth and teachers suffer from lack of learning and teaching devices, it is utterly unacceptable to hear that there are billions-worth of learning materials allegedly being held hostage in warehouses subcontracted by the company contracted by the DepEd,” said House Resolution 1516, which was made available to reporters on Wednesday, December 13.
The agreement with Transpac was carried over from the previous administration, when Leonor Briones was at the helm of DepEd. Its implementation has spilled over to Vice President Sara Duterte’s term as education secretary.
The P667-million deal to distribute the leaning materials was made in 2021, with Transpac edging out bigger competitors trying to score the DepEd deal. While it has been in the market for over 25 years now, there is still little known about Trasnpac.
Transpac said DepEd failed to settle a balance due them worth P34.5 million.
In an bid to recover losses after suffering a 56.7% revenue drop during the pandemic, Transpac either withheld or sold to the public government learning materials in its storage. This covered laptops, science and math equipment, school furniture, among others, that were supposed to be sent to teachers in public schools.
“Congress needs to investigate not only the reason why these learning materials remain undelivered and, in the case of laptops, sold in various marketplaces, but it should also investigate the alleged corrupt practices surrounding the issue,” the resolution read. – Kaycee Valmonte with reports from Bonz Magsambol and Ryan Macasero/Rappler.com