Ombudsman suspends DepEd, DBM execs over 'overpriced' laptops
Ombudsman suspends DepEd, DBM execs over 'overpriced' laptops
Ombudsman suspends DepEd, DBM execs over 'overpriced' laptops
by Mary Antalan25 August 2023
Photo Courtesy: Office of the Ombudsman Facebook

The Ombudsman imposed a six-month preventive suspension on several senior officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday, August 25.

In an 11-page resolution signed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires, evidence was found that some of the officials from DepEd and DBM conspired in the purchase of controversial 'overpriced' laptops for teachers.

Twelve officials were listed for suspension:

  • DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla
  • Former DepEd undersecretary Alain del Pascua
  • Former Department of Budget and Management undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao
  • DepEd Assistant Secretary for Administration and Procurement, Salvador Malana III
  • Director Abram Abanil of the Information and Communications Technology Services, DepEd/Designated Ad Hoc Member, Special Bids and
  • Awards Committee (SBAC-1) for the "Laptop for Teachers" Project
  • Director Jasonmar Uayan, Officer-in-Charge, Executive Director, Procurement Service-DBM
  • Ulysees Mora Procurement Management Officer, PS-DBM and Designated Chairperson, SBAC-1
  • Marwin Amil, Procurement Management Officer I, PS-DBM and Designated Provisional Member, SBAC-1;
  • Alec Ladanga, Executive Assistant IV, Office of Undersecretary Sevilla, DepEd
  • Marcelo Bragado, Director IV, Procurement Management Service, DepEd
  • Selwyn Briones, Supervising Administrative Officer, DepEd, and
  • Paul Armand Estrada, Procurement Management Officer V, PS-DBM and Designated Regular Member, SBAC-1

The decision stemmed from a complaint filed by the Senate blue ribbon committee regarding DBM's P58,000 unit price per laptop, an amount accepted by the DepEd.

Based on the Commission on Audit's findings, 68,500 laptops were supposed to be procured but were significantly reduced to 39,583 due to the huge increase in estimated cost from P35,046.50 based on DepEd's submission of the Agency Procurement Request.

The anti-graft body said the preventive suspension is in accordance with Section 27 of the Ombudsman Law.

"Notwithstanding any motion, appeal, or petition that may be filed by respondents seeking relief from this Order, unless otherwise ordered by this Office or any court of competent jurisdiction, the implementation of this Order should not be interrupted within the period prescribed," it said.

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