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DepEd purchased a laptop with Celeron chip for almost 60K each in 2021

The Department of Education may be under a microscope after the Commission on Audit uncovered PHP 2.4 billion worth of outdated laptops for teachers.
DepEd purchased a laptop with Celeron chip for almost 60K each in 2021
COA: DepEd should explain PHP 2.4 billion worth of outdated laptops

Outdated, slow laptops for over PHP 50K?

You could even get a gaming laptop for less!

According to COA, DepEd purchased PHP 2.4 billion worth of laptops through the Procurement Service ofg the Department of Budget and Management even though there are cheaper and better options in the market. These laptops are more expensive than what the budget was allotted for resulting in fewer units leaving over 28,000 teachers without a computer.

Based on COA's auditors' initial reports, the laptops delivered by the winning bidder were too slow for modern use cases because the processor is severely outdated and underpowered. Furthermore, the rest of the laptops' pricing was too high based on the rest of the specs included. DepEd was the one who ultimately agreed to the price and specs provided by the DBM-PS.

COA stated that they could not find a reason why the DBM-PS would agree on the unit price of PHP 58,300 which is too high for how outdated the laptops were. The supposed 68,500 units were reduced to 39,583 units due to this price increase per unit. The supposed budget per unit was PHP 35,046.

The DBM-PS also conducted bidding for a mid-range laptop in May 2021 yielding a cheaper option of PHP 45,431 per unit. These are way faster and more up-to-date options than the PHP 58,300 entry-level laptops. In the same period in 2020, the DBM-PS was able to purchase a faster entry-level laptop for PHP 32,500 per unit only, a far cry from 2021's PHP 58,300.

According to COA, their research showed that the same laptop (PHP 58,300 worth) can be found in the market with a better display for only around PHP 22,490 to PHP 25,000 per unit only. The DepEd Central Office's financial records at year's end of 2021 reflect that PHP 2.4 billion was still unliquidated as a result of the DBM-failure PS's to provide supporting documentation.

Although the anticipated price was based solely on DepEd's initial approved value of PHP 35,046.50, COA stated that DepEd should explain why it allowed the PHP 58,300 laptop pricing per unit.

For instance, note that you can get an ASUS TUF Dash F15 for only PHP 57,995 with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, RTX 3060 GPU, and a 144Hz FHD screen. That's a gaming laptop compared to DepEd's PHP 58,300 entry-level laptop.
File photo: MateBook D16

If you need a slim laptop with long battery life for work, the MateBook D16 with a large 16-inch FHD+ screen, 12th Gen Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 60WHr battery, 65W USB-C charging, 1080p webcam, backlit keyboard, and Metaline antenna, among others, is priced at just PHP 55,999.

Even the MacBook Air with the powerful M1 chip is priced at just PHP 57,990.

DepEd submits required documents regarding COA's laptop query

In a press briefing, DepEd stated that it is waiting for COA's feedback after submitting the required documents regarding the laptops in question. It also added that it will be cooperating with COA's inquiries fully to improve the department's processes in the future.

What do you guys think?


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