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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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FIRING LINE: Did DepEd play favorites?

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

The government procurement system has to do away with favorites. The Commission on Audit (COA) has stopped short of accusing procurement agencies or departmental bidding committees of having “favored suppliers.”

But, time and again, its audit reports would find deficiencies in certain purchase deals where the supplier is a frequent awardee of these contracts. In some instances, the winning bidder does not even have the supply and has to source them from other distributors.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who’s studied the Department of Education’s procurement history, pointed out that the suppliers that dealt the supposed overpriced yet outdated laptops for teachers have been the same ones getting similar contracts for years. He smells something anomalous there.

I respect Estrada’s take on this. I guess no one could have a keener eye and experience in the Senate to spot an anomaly better than him. Don’t you agree?

*      *      *

There is no doubt in my mind that the social costs far outweigh the economic gains the operations of these so-called Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) bring.

I’d like to believe that President Bongbong Marcos’s recent pronouncement that he is considering banning POGOs in the country is genuine and sincere. Its mere existence tramples on the moral fiber of our nation.

Perhaps, we could give Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. a chance to deliver on his vow for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to crack down on undocumented and overstaying foreigners involved in POGOs.

I am confident that he can reel in these illegal aliens in the hundreds of thousands – several of whom have already been associated with common to aggravated crimes such as kidnapping.

*      *      *

The legal team of Deniece Cornejo made a crafty maneuver in securing the warrant for actor Vhong Navarro for his bailable case first to prompt his appearance before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Then, as his bail for acts of lasciviousness case was being processed, such luck had the judge in the case issue the warrant for the non-bailable rape case. Already in custody, Mr. Ferdinand Navarro (in real life) was booked.

Let’s hope this funnyman gets treated well in detention. Last I heard, the “supremo” in that NBI jail has pretty high connections, being an alleged nephew of a former senator. VIP treatment behind bars comes with a cost, or so I heard.

*      *      *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at https://www.thephilbiznews.com

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