Philippines Report

DepEd laptop suppliers dispute state auditors’ findings

DepEd laptop suppliers dispute state auditors’ findings

The joint-venture group which supplied 39,583 units of allegedly overpriced but outdated laptops to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday insisted that the goods “meet all technical specifications imposed by the government, are competitively priced and perform according to their intended use.”

Sunwest Construction and Development Corp. (SCDC) and LDLA Marketing & Trading Inc. (LDLA) said in a statement that the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management or PS-DBM solicited bids for the supply and delivery of laptop computers with very specific technical requirements.

“As qualified bidders, we made an offer and won the comprehensive and competitive bidding fair and square,” the two companies said. “As of early this year, all units have been delivered to DepEd regional offices throughout the Philippines.”

SCDC and LDLA said the laptop units were priced competitively based on the required specifications.

They said the pricing took into account the cost of the unit, peripherals, software, commercial grade durability, comprehensive 36-months warranty and technical support anywhere in the Philippines, including nationwide delivery and other add-ons.

Custom-built

Pricing also covers customization of the items as the DepEd required.

“The public should also note that the Dell Latitude 3420 laptops delivered to the government were custom-built direct from the factory and according to the requirements needed by DepEd and therefore cannot be easily equated to a regular off-the-shelf consumer unit. It is inaccurate and unfair to say that the offered price is for the laptops alone,” the suppliers added.

The two companies said that while they were contracted to supply the equivalent of a 10th-generation processor, what they actually delivered were more advanced – being 11th-generation processors, which was the latest generation at the time of the project.

“Our clients can also attest that we have been faithfully honoring our after-sales support and warranty and have been aiding end users through our after-sales partners,” they said.

Concerning audit findings related to their laptops, SCDC and LDLA said they were not aware of any conclusive nor final audit report that has been published by the Commission on Audit regarding the matter.

“We are ready and willing to participate in any proceedings where we will be given the opportunity to show that our product is reliable and capable for its intended use,” the partner companies said.

“Our companies have a combined experience spanning more than a decade and we intend to protect our respective reputations as honest and ethical business enterprises,” they added.

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