Calls on authorities to hold officials accountable if proven guilty of corruption
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go backed the calls for the abolition of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management and stressed the need to hold its officials accountable if found guilty of corruption or other irregularities.
The clamor for the abolition of PS-DBM mounted following recent reports of corruption including the procurement of “overpriced” and “outdated” laptops for teachers.
In an ambush interview on Tuesday, August 30, after personally assisting fire victims in Pasay City, Go remarked, “Para sa akin, dapat na pong buwagin ang PS-DBM kung kakayanin naman po ng ahensya na sila mismo ang bumili. Dapat ayusin po ang sistema ng procurement natin.”
Last August 25, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, of which Go is a Vice Chair, conducted a public hearing regarding the controversial purchase by the PS-DBM and the Department of Education of Intel Celeron laptops at the cost of P58,300 per unit. This was flagged by the Commission on Audit for being pricey yet outdated. For that unit price, the purchased laptops ended up being more expensive than a MacBook Air with M1 chip, which is currently priced at P57,990.
The DepEd’s initial estimated price for each laptop was P35,046.50. However, due to the 66% increase from the original estimated price, only 39,583 units of the 68,500 laptops intended for teachers were bought.
Go lamented that some teachers even have to go as far as taking out loans just to buy proper laptops.
“Dapat po may check and balance talaga. Dapat po maayos at bawat procurement ay merong nakatingin, ang Commission on Audit andyan,” he said.
“Para sa akin po, hindi po katanggap-tanggap na may malulugi lalo na po ang gobyerno. Ako po, interes ng gobyerno ang unahin natin, interes po ng mga kababayan natin,” the senator stressed.
Go went on to emphasize the need to hold accountable erring officials, saying, “Kung meron pong kalokohan, kasuhan dapat, mapakulong kung meron pong kalokohan na nangyari sa procurement.”
Go has long been advocating for the welfare of the country’s teachers. The senator has previously urged the national government to provide additional support for public school teachers, citing the hardships they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was an author and co-sponsor of Republic Act 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5, which gives civilian government employees, including public school teachers, salary increases broken down in tranches.
More recently, Go refiled Senate Bill No. 1190 to expand the purposes and application of the Special Education Fund which he proposed to be used for the operation and maintenance of public schools; payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of teaching and non-teaching personnel; competency trainings for teaching personnel; operation of Alternative Learning System, including payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of ALS facilitators; educational research; and teaching aids and other instructional materials, among others.