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DepEd stops IMs purchase

Amid controversies that hound the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the “pork barrel” fund, the Department of Education (DepEd) has ordered a moratorium on the procurement of Instructional Materials (IMs) to ensure that transactions and other activities related to IMs are “conducted in the most ethical and transparent manner.”

Education Secretary Armin Luistro, in DepEd Order No. 44, Series of 2013, or the Moratorium on the Procurement of Supplementary Reading Reference and other Instructional Materials (IMs) dated September 26, said that DepEd “has an on-going review of policies and guidelines relative to the procurement or provision of IMs for delivery.” IMs include supplementary reading, reference, and instructional materials, including multimedia and computer software packages.

All DepEd officials were also advised “not to recommend and/or endorse the purchase of IMs using non-DepEd fund sources” such as PDAF, the Special Education Fund (SEF), and other funds.”

Luistro said that the review aims to ascertain that policies and guidelines related to the procurement of IMs are sufficient for the use of students, among others.

“These must ensure that the IMs are the most appropriate for the priority needs of intended users of these materials,” he explained.

The DepEd chief also explained that the review will also make sure that the “prices of these IMs are reasonable that allow government to optimize the use of limited funds.”

He added the review also aims to ensure that the “transactions and procurement activities related to IMs are conducted in the most ethical and transparent manner.”

“In this connection, pending completion of this review, there shall be a moratorium on the procurement of IMs until this issuance is rescinded or revoked,” Luistro stressed. (Ina Hernando-Malipot)