DepEd starts hauling math, science items from logistics firm
“Sometime in the first week of December 2023, the DepEd was in receipt of a letter from Transpac suddenly informing DepEd that it may now haul the goods stored in its warehouses,” the statement read.

STAR / File

Manila, Philippines — The Department of Education’s regional and division offices have started hauling the learning resources from its previous logistics provider, Transpac Cargo Logistics, “for distribution to public schools nationwide,” DepEd said in a statement issued yesterday.

“Sometime in the first week of December 2023, the DepEd was in receipt of a letter from Transpac suddenly informing DepEd that it may now haul the goods stored in its warehouses,” the statement read.

“Therefore, our regional and division offices have immediately started hauling the goods. The DepEd aims to completely haul and deliver the goods to our public schools in the next few weeks,” it added.

The DepEd’s statement came as the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday filed House Resolution 1516 seeking an investigation on the billions of pesos worth of school furniture and science and math equipment which remained idle in Transpac warehouses allegedly due to DepEd’s refusal to pay warehouse fees.

In its statement, the DepEd said the issue on the undelivered equipment and learning materials was not merely about the unpaid warehouse fees as reported by some media outfits, but mainly due to Transpac’s failure to meet its obligations under the contract.

“[W]e would like to emphasize that this is not a simple case of unpaid warehouse fees as has been inaccurately framed by some outfits. Payment to providers may only be done upon the fulfillment of obligations and corresponding submission of complete documentation as required by accounting, auditing and other pertinent rules and regulations for the disbursement of funds,” the DepEd said.

“DepEd remains committed to safeguarding the public interest, so that our learners and stakeholders will not be shortchanged of the education services they deserve,” it added.

The DepEd said the services of Transpac Logistics were procured by the previous DepEd leadership in 2021.

Under the contract, Transpac shall provide DepEd with logistics, warehousing and tagging services from Oct. 8, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

However, the DepEd said Transpac “failed to deliver the goods completely and on time,” prompting several discussions with the agency.

“Since the present administration assumed office, continuous efforts were made to either compel delivery of the goods as required by contract, or for DepEd to be allowed to pull out and haul the learning resources from the warehouses – to no avail. Thus, in the exercise of diligence and in the interest of recovering the goods by all means necessary, DepEd was constrained to resort to legal remedies,” the DepEd said.

The DepEd said that in accordance with Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, it decided to partially terminate its contract with Transpac last Aug. 30 due to lack of any concrete resolution on the issue despite several discussions.

The DepEd said it also instituted legal proceedings against Transpac before a regional trial court last Nov. 22, “to recover the goods that are still in Transpac’s possession.”

Following its filing of the civil case, the DepEd said it suddenly received a letter from Transpac in the first week of December informing the agency it may now haul the items stored in its warehouses.

In its 2022 annual audit report on DepEd, released in August this year, the Commission on Audit (COA) said that while a supplier had already delivered the procured science and mathematics equipment (SME) worth P1.188 billion to the DepEd-Central Office, the items remained sitting in warehouses, “undelivered to recipient schools as at yearend.”

The COA said one supplier, identified in the audit report as “Supplier No. 3,” even requested from DepEd reimbursement amounting P11.7 million, composed of P8.9 million for temporarily “warehousing the goods” and P2.8 million for “hauling/transfer” of the items to the rented warehouse.

“The amount being requested for reimbursement is only for the period April 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2022 and may possibly increase if DepEd will not address these concerns immediately,” the COA report read. — Sheila Crisostomo