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DepEd probes trip

Education Secretary Leonor Briones has ordered an investigation of a report that some inspectors of the Department of Education were given a free trip to China to inspect a cabinet production facility by one of their suppliers.

Briones has tasked the appropriate DepEd office “to promptly look” into the alleged free trip to China in line with her agenda of implementing a “transparent and corruption-free leadership.”

In a memorandum to DepEd Director of Administrative Service Robert Agustin, Briones ordered the probe to “further shed light on the details of the said trip.”

Briones said that the initial result of DepEd’s investigation revealed that the department itself funded the trip.

“Being the Procuring Entity, DepEd shouldered the expenses to visit the production site, which was requested by Multifocus Corp. pursuant to the terms and conditions of its contract,” she said.

The Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment – a group advocating transparency and good governance – had claimed that several DepEd inspectors were given free trip by Multifocus, a DepEd supplier, to check “cabinets for bidding.”

In a statement issued by the group, they called on Briones to “investigate the report” and that they, too, will start their own investigation so “this should stop at once” if proven true.

The group would also like DepEd to explain allegations that some of its inspectors “changed some specifications to accommodate the bidder.” (Merlina Hernando Malipot)

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