Education Secretary Leonor Briones has formed an investigating team to look into reported corruption in the agency, involving the bidding of projects and travels abroad by several of its officials.
Meanwhile, the good governance group Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment appealed to Briones to look into reports that Multifocus Corporation, a supplier to the Department of Education (DepEd), sponsored a junket to China for some of the agency’s inspectors to check “cabinets for bidding.”
“We are calling the attention of our good Secretary Briones to investigate the report. We will start our own investigation. This should stop at once. Did the DepEd inspectors involved change the specifications to accommodate the bidder? When did the trip happen? What was the China trip for? Who were involved?,” the group said in a statement.
A report from radio station DZBB said Briones has ordered an investigation on the irregularities in the bidding of some DepEd projects and travels abroad.
Briones tasked the investigating team to check reports that the expenses for travel to China, which was supposedly sponsored by private individuals, was actually shouldered by the department.
Earlier, Multifocus threatened to file charges against the DepEd Bids and Awards Committee led by DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, over alleged inaction on its complaint.
Multifocus claimed to have lost P1.5 billion in various contracts at DepEd.
Reporters tried but failed to get a reaction from officials of Multifocus.
The DepEd is one of the government agencies bombarded with complaints from losing bidders.
Briones earlier imposed a one-year suspension against a supplier from its alleged non-compliance with its P113.4-million contract with the DepEd last year.
Healthcare and education company Philab Industries Inc. previously bagged billions of pesos worth of contracts with DepEd, with its steady service to the projects it contracted for with the government, particularly in the delivery of science and mathematics equipment to public elementary and high schools.
Briones, however, said she had informed Philab Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hector Thomas Navasero of their decision not to allow the company to participate in bidding for projects with the DepEd.