DepEd questioned on P1.32B textbook contracts
By Yvonne T. Chua
If things go as planned, the Department of Education will start delivering this month 61.4 million copies of textbooks and teachers’ manuals worth P2.58 billion to public elementary and high schools nationwide.
The shipments consist of some 40 titles, both old and new, all of them expected to be distributed by summer. When school year 2012-13 rolls around, every public school child will have his or her own textbook in all the core subjects except in high school Filipino where no books were bought by the DepEd.
But civil society watchdogs as well as several former and current education officials say about half the books, or just over 30 million copies valued at P1.317 billion, were procured by direct contracting, a mode they said violates Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. The law sets competitive or public bidding as the rule for all state procurements and allows direct contracting only in “highly exceptional cases.”
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