Overpriced Shampoo, Needles, Otoscopes: DepEd Faces New Set of Corruption Scandals

The bidding committee, however, amended its bid bulletin in August 2008 reducing the quantity of otoscopes from 500 sets to 75 and the citronella shampoos from 150,000 sachets to 75,000 but the prices remained the same. House Resolution No. 1228 authored by Palatino said that an otoscope costs P2,000 in the first bid but now costs P13,000 in the rebid while the citronella shampoo costs P6 in the first bid but P12 after the rebid.

The other items cited in the project also have price discrepancies even without the changes during the rebid. The citronella shampoo has a total price discrepancy of P156,000; dental anesthetics, P562,500; disposable dental needles, P781,250; and the otoscopes, P932,500. The total price discrepancy for the project, P2,432,250, is more than four percent of the total budget for the project.

Equally important, the results of these computations have already been downplayed since the price discrepancy was multiplied with the lowest market price depending on the brands of the items. But if multiplied with the highest market price, almost P900,000 would be added to the price discrepancy.

Palatino questioned why the bidding price was, in the first place, more expensive than the market price. “Is it not that it should be priced lower because DepEd would be procuring the medical kits and the shampoo in a bigger quantity?”

Third-year high-school student Ayla Garduce of Quirino High School in Quezon City said they have never received any of the shampoos or tasted the supposedly fortified instant noodles. “The textbooks that we are using were published in 1990s and our chairs are almost wrecked,” she said. (Bulatlat.com)

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