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DepEd: P155-k DSLR camera given by LGU to Imus schools division office

The Department of Education had no hand in the acquisition of a DSLR camera said to overpriced with a cost of P155,929 in Imus City, the DepEd said in a statement on Monday.

The DepEd said the Canon 1500D of the Schools Division Office of the city was given by the local government to the SDO.

"DepEd did not have any participation or involvement in the procurement process of the subject cameras," the DepEd said.

"DepEd continues to call on netizens to be circumspect in their posts to ensure that no misinformation is propagated," it added.

GMA News Online is seeking comment from the Imus LGU.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said on Feb. 1 it would investigate the alleged purchase of oversized cameras after a Facebook post showed a picture of a Canon 1500D with a sticker indicating  an acquisition cost of P155,929.

Other details such as the DSLR camera’s serial number, acquisition date, and accountable officer were on the sticker.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, who shared the picture on Facebook, said the post didn’t contain misinformation and posed a " valid question" regarding acquisition costs.

“What DepEd did now was just to distance itself from the purchase of the camera and point to the LGU as the procuring entity,” Reyes said.

"Clearly, it was overpriced, whoever made the purchase in the first place. Holding officials to account is never wrong. It is not misinformation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Poa said the DepEd welcomed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee report on the alleged procurement of “overpriced” laptops in 2021.

“The filing of cases against past and present officials of the DepEd, as recommended by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will be referred to the Office of the Solicitor General for evaluation and appropriate action,” Poa said.

“We are ready to receive the official BRC report from the Senate," he added.

Poa said the department filed an administrative case against one of its employees reportedly involved in the procurement.

The Senate adopted the committee report last week with the majority of senators voting for its approval, except for Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

In January, Senator Francis Tolentino, chairperson of the anti-graft panel, sponsored Committee Report No. 19, which found that the 2021 DepEd Laptop for Teachers Procurement Project was overpriced by at least P979 million.

The Blue Ribbon panel also recommended graft and perjury charges against former and current officials of DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service. —NB, GMA Integrated News