Solons call for textbooks probe

THE House Minority bloc, led by Minority Leader Benny Abante, is calling on House committees concerned to look into the reported errors in books used by public school students.

The Minority leader said officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) should be held liable for the irregularities since taxpayer’s money is used in buying school materials, particularly books.

Based on Commission on Audit 2018 annual audit report, more than 3 million books amounting to P113 million were left unused in the DepEd’s warehouse and around P254 million worth of Grade 3 students’ learning materials were full of errors.

Abante said that in a caucus of the Minority, members agreed to support a resolution to be filed by Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) Rep. France Castro calling for an investigation into the COA findings.

“If the COA findings are accurate, then I believe everyone can agree that this kind of waste is simply unacceptable, especially for an agency that has to maximize its resources,” Abante said.

“The DepEd gets just over half a trillion pesos for the close to 22.8 million students enrolled in our public school system. It is their responsibility to ensure that every peso we invest in our children’s future is a peso well spent,” he added.

According to the solon, he and his fellow legislators were concerned about the recurring problems involved in the procurement of learning materials for public school students.

”This is not the first time that this has happened. Issues about the quality of the textbooks used in our public schools have been raised before, and we are concerned that those in DepEd involved in procuring these materials have not been able to address these issues,” he stressed.

Abante explained that he and his colleagues in the Minority want to examine the manner in which the learning materials were procured to identify the “problematic areas” that need to be addressed.