DepEd on custom-built laptop sold in Mandaue City: It’s ours

THE Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed that the laptops sold in a surplus store in Mandaue City were part of the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP).

However, it said that these were not procured through the Procurement Service–Department of Budget and Management.

The agency said it is coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators.

DepEd 7 Director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez told SunStar Cebu on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, that based on their investigation the laptops had come from Manila.

Jimenez said all laptops distributed under the DCP and other programs in the region are all accounted for.

“So far in Region 7 the case has been ‘closed’ because when we had the inventory of all the laptops distributed to the teachers, they were intact. Wala may nakulang ug walay nangawala (None was missing and none was lost),” he said. “One of the clients said nga ang (that the) store ni mention kuno nga ilahang (mentioned that their) supplier kay (came) from Manila, so we submitted a report to the Central Office and the Central Office has already investigated that matter.”

In earlier reports, the official said the laptops may have been stolen from the DepEd’s warehouses in Manila, or these excess units that were not procured by the agency.

“Kung dinaghan ang ilang baligya, then there is a possibility nga kinawat siya sa warehouse sa DepEd o mga excess siya sa supplier ug gibaligya na lang (If they are selling many units, then there is a possibility that these were stolen from the DepEd warehouse or these could be excess units that the supplier decided to sell),” Jimenez added.

Concerned citizen

On Oct. 21, 2022, SunStar Cebu reported that a custom-made DepEd laptop was bought from HMR Cebu, a surplus store in Mandaue City, for the markdown price of about P10,000.

In a now deleted post on its Facebook page, the surplus store was selling a Coby 14” laptop for P9,999.

DCP laptops had a contract price of P36,100 per unit.

A concerned citizen and one of the buyers reported the matter to SunStar Cebu.

The laptop had noticeable markings that had been partially scraped from the unit and its accessories.

Upon closer inspection of the unit, SunStar discovered preloaded files of DepEd’s training videos on how to operate the laptop and apps such as Minecraft Education, Arduino, Geometry, Graphing Calc, and GeoGebra Classic.

SunStar Cebu also found out that the laptop and its accessories shared a close resemblance to the units distributed through the DCP.

The DCP’s main objective was to provide public schools with appropriate information and communication technologies (ICT) that would improve the teaching and learning process by integrating ICT in the school system by providing laboratory packages to secondary schools and electronic classrooms to elementary schools.

The specifications of the Coby 14” laptop and special requirements set by DepEd for each unit, like the placement of the DepEd logo embossed/etched at the backside of the screen display (cover), on the front screen display edge or keyboard area and on the mouse, were the same specifications on the Coby laptops sold at HMR Cebu except that the DepEd logo markings had been scraped off.