First, computers, now speech labs.
The Bacolod City Legal Office deployed its paralegal personnel to inspect all 22 public schools in Bacolod City yesterday as part of its fact-finding investigation on the acquisition by the previous administration of a speech laboratory project for the Bacolod Schools Division of the Department of Education.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan yesterday said the paralegals will determine if these schools have their own speech laboratories and if these are ready for installation of the K-12 Interactive Language Laboratory (speech lab) equipment worth about P41 million.
Bayatan said he wrote Bacolod Schools Division Superintendent Cynthia Demavivas to provide him with a copy of the letter of former Mayor Monico Puentevella regarding the project after securing a copy of her reply to the former chief executive.
In her letter dated July 7 to Puentevella, Demavivas said that they did not accept the speech laboratory since Nikka Trading failed to comply with the specifications they detailed in the purchase request and made no effort to address the issues they raised.
Demavivas said what was offered was simply a computer package and not a speech lab. “It is redundant to our needs, as the DepEd already provides the computers needed in our classrooms,” she said.
Based on the report submitted by their Information and Communication Technology coordinator and expert consultants, the microprocessors of the personal computers are Intel Celeron which, by standards, are low end and near obsolete, Demavivas said.
The school representatives are not authorized to check or inspect the computers delivered and other materials as this is under the ambit of authority of the Management Audit Services Office, she said.
Demavivas said the materials were received by schools representatives with the understanding that it is only for storage and safekeeping and will still be inspected by representatives from MASO and only they can certify that the materials are complete and in good condition.
The computers were not taken out of their boxes nor were these tested for functionality, she added.
Bayatan said the MASO has a lot of explaining to do because, in its pre-audit report, it stated that all these materials are in order and in accordance with the specification of the DepEd.
He said it is good that City Accountant Ma. Corazon Cardel did not issue clearance for the payment of the equipment at a net amount of P38.7 million because, according to her, only one set was installed out of the 22 sets delivered and that was in the Mandalagan National High School.
Bayatan said Cardel also pointed out that no trainings/seminars were conducted by the supplier, and that the technical specifications of the units were not subject to inspection by the technical audit teams of the Commission on Audit-Negros Island Region, among others.
He issued a memorandum to executive assistant Marivic Canada to submit a report, under oath, of the facts and relevant circumstances with regards to the investigation of paralegal personnel of the CLO on the existence of K-12 speech lab in 22 schools, Bayatan said.
They will conduct a comprehensive investigation of the speech lab project since the flow of the transaction was really very questionable, he said.
Bayatan said they have also requested the Bids and Awards Committee to provide them 10 sets of documents to show that the conduct of bidding for the speech lab equipment was orderly, but they were only provided four sets
They are also wondering why Nikka Trading won the bidding but it turned out to be a joint venture with JV Axel Prime Technologies Inc., he said.
“We are preparing all the documents and building up the facts and we will make sure that everything will be fair and will be for the best interest of public service and transparency,” he added.
General Services Office head Jerome Solinap had said they followed the proper procedure in the acquisition of the equipment and scheduled the bidding on March 21 after conducting a pre-bid conference.
He said Nikka Trading submitted a bid offer of PP1,857,879 or a total price of P40,873,140, which is P442,000 less than the Approved Budget of Contract.
Since the other supplier, Infinite Powertech, offered a bid price of P1,873,870, Nikka Trading was declared the lowest calculated bid, Solinap said.
The 21 other public schools are Angela Gonzaga National High School, Bacolod City National High School, Bata NHS, Brgy. Singcang NHS, Cabug NHS, Domingo Lacson NHS, Emiliano Lizares NHS, Fr. Gratian Murray, FSC Integrated School, Handumanan NHS, Generoso Villanueva NHS, Jovito Sayson NHS, Luis Hervias NHS, Luisa Medel NHS, Mansilingan Agro Industrial High School, M. Medalla Integrated School, Paglaum Village NHS, Romanito Maravilla NHS, Sum-ag NHS, Teofilo Gensoli NHS, Alangilan NHS, and Abkasa NHS.*CGS
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