FOLLOWING criticism, the Department of Education (DepEd) has cancelled an invitation to bid for the supply and delivery of ham and cheese intended for the Central Office Christmas celebration.
“The call for bidding has been cancelled.It was a regular procurement but it is inappropriate at this time when our employees are severely affected by recent disasters“, the statement said.
Based on the document posted on Nov 12, the Deped announced a bidding for P4.278-million worth of ham and cheese or P2.982 million for 4,260 pieces of ham and P1.296 million for 2,160 pieces of cheese. However, the invitation to bid has since been taken down at the DepEd website.
DepEd said that it has “since reallocated the funds for the needs of those affected” by typhoons “Rolly” and “Ulysses” as well as the “ongoing COVID-19 effort for our employees.”
DepEd PAS Director June Gudoy said invitation to bid “is a regular procurement” which is “allocated beforehand like other government agencies during this season.
The posting of the said invitation is a “requirement for transparency of government procurement” and that it has “been included in the 2019 budget for employees, he also said.
Gudoy said that the invitation to bid is “now moot” and the “reallocation will prioritize those affected.”
Meanwhile, DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said that “allocating funds from one program to another is not allowed in budget law,” for example, from school building to school feeding or quick response to computerization program, but “reallocation within program” is allowed.
“In this case, this is within general admin and management services, hence an activity can still be re-prioritized within the same program,” Sevilla said.
Meanwhile, Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomed the cancellation of DepEd’s bidding for ham and cheese.
“We are pleased that the DepEd has cancelled its bidding for ham and cheese amounting to more than P4.2 million for the Christmas celebration in Central Office. It only shows that the initial decision, was indeed unnecessary and insensitive|”, Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson said.
However, this also shows how DepEd sets priorities and violates its own rules. The DepEd Order No. 114, s. 2009 for instance says that the Christmas Celebration in DepEd should be simple but meaningful and in fact encourages the field to divert the funds or savings to donations for communities affected by disasters.
The invitation to bid is posted on November 12, the very day Typhoon Ulysses devastated Luzon and while rescue and relief operations are being done for the localities that were affected by the twin destruction of Typhoons Quinta and Rolly”, the statement added.