August 09, 2019
The Department of Education (DepEd) purchased tons of instructional materials, but millions of copies have not been distributed and are gathering dust in warehouses, according to the Commission on Audit (CoA).
The commission said DepEd acquired “an alarming number of undistributed instructional materials” worth P136.5 million as buffer stock from 2014 to 2017.
Of the 4 million textbooks and teacher manuals it purchased, the DepEd was only able to distribute to public schools 652, 842 copies — 230,086 in 2016, 321,103 in 2017 and 101,653 in 2018. The remaining copies — 3,410,137 — are stored in five warehouse in Taguig City.
The audit agency said the acquisition of the instructional materials fell under the “irregular,unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable expenditures.”
The DepEd acquired the buffer stock to replace lost or damaged textbooks and manuals and to meet the requirements of newly established/created schools.
Under the department’s plan, school districts and high schools were to receive 10 percent of the buffer stock, while 30 percent shall be delivered directly to district offices, 10 percent to regional offices and 50 percent shall be delivered to the designated warehouse.
CoA said based on the records of the Bureau of Learning Resources as of Dec. 31, 2018, the total cost of the 4,062,979 textbooks, teacher’s manual, learners materials and teacher’s guide buffer stocks delivered by various suppliers was P136.576 million, with unit cost ranging from P12.53 to P82.96.
“From the total deliveries are the remaining 3,410,137 buffer stocks stored in the warehouse, with total cost of P113,708,595 to date. Part of the remaining stocks are 243,414 copies of learning materials requested by the Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Service that had not been pulled out by that Office as of the report date”, CoA said.
An audit team from CoA inspected five warehouses in Taguig City on March 8, 2019 and found “errors and deficiencies.”
“Various errors were noted in some of the learning materials meant for Grade 3 pupils with a total contract cost of P254.35 million despite undergoing the three-step review process of the department,” CoA said.
Among the “deficiencies” noted by the audit team in the Science learner’s material in Filipino were the phrases “Tubig sa loob ng thermometer” (Water in a thermometer) on pages 28 and 32, and
“Ang retina ay parang kurtina na tumatakip sa mata” (The retina is like a curtain covering the eye) on page 43.
“During the inspection, the audit team noted that observations/deficiencies in the previous year continuously exist and remained not acted upon,” CoA said.
The audit team also found that the warehouses were “in very poor condition,” the items were “not properly arranged “for lack of storage plan and materials handling equipment.”
CoA added that “various errors were noted in some of the” learning materials meant for Grade 3 pupils, with a total contract cost of P254.35 million “despite undergoing the three-step review process of the department.”
The DepEd central office had assured that it would revisit the guidelines on the procurement of instructional materials and will evaluate the controls on buffer stocks. It added that the materials had been allocated and that it was “in the process of releasing the materials.”
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