P6B worth of contracts questioned

P6B WORTH OF CONTRACTS QUESTIONED: Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, during the hybrid Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry Thursday, September 29, 2022, on the alleged overpriced and outdated laptops procured by the Department of Education (DepEd) through the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service quizzes DepEd Information and Communications Dir. Abram Abanil on the multiple contracts the agency awarded to Advance Solutions, Inc. (ASI). According to Estrada, DepEd awarded close to P6 billion worth of contracts to ASI since 2015. “Do you think the purpose of public bidding is achieved if government contracts are consistently awarded to a particular supplier? Doesn’t this practice give a semblance of favoritism that should warrant investigation by the procuring entity?” Estrada asked. Abanil said they evaluate the documents of the prospective bidder based on their previous projects as well as their capability and their compliance with regard to the requirements of the project but have no mandate to conduct investigations. Estrada urged the Commission on Audit to look into the track record of ASI and other DepEd suppliers from 2013 to the present.