Education department okay with Senate inquiry

DepEd Sec. Leonor M. Briones (DepEd photo)

The Department of Education (DepEd) has welcomed the possible inquiry into the alleged anomalies in the agency following the Commission on Audit’s (CoA) report showing P113-million worth of unused books were stuck in warehouses.

“DepEd welcomes the inquiry that the Senate and the House of Representatives plan to conduct on this matter,” the education agency said in a statement. “We will appreciate a public process to respond to the issues raised in the COA report.”

Earlier, Senate committee on basic education chair Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) Representative France Castro slammed the agency and said they will conduct a probe into the issue.

The state auditors’ report showed that while over 300 million books were stuck in warehouses, ACT-Teachers claimed that many teaching materials needed in schools including several books under the K to 12 Program have not yet been distributed.

“As part of the reforms initiated under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, the Department of Education (DepEd) is intent on further strengthening its financial management system,” DepEd said in a previous statement.

The DepEd added that since March this year, it has already been working with the CoA and responded to the Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) on the alleged delay in construction of classrooms and alleged undistributed textbooks, among others.

“DepEd assures the public and its stakeholders that it had already addressed COA’s observations, and that it is determined to continuously improve its systems and processes,” DepEd said.

Malacañang on Monday expressed support for Education Secretary Leonor Briones after the COA report came out.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo vouched for Briones’ integrity, saying the former National Treasurer would never tolerate anomalies in the DepEd.