House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante Jr. on Wednesday said members of the Minority would be backing calls for a formal inquiry into possible anomalies at the Department of Education (DepEd) after a 2018 Commission on Audit (COA) report revealed that more than 3 million books amounting to P113 million were left unused in the DepEd’s warehouses and around P254 million worth of Grade 3 learning materials were filled with errors.

Abante said that in a caucus of the Minority held on Tuesday, members of the Minority agreed to support a resolution to be filed by Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) Rep. France Castro calling for an investigation into the COA findings. 

“It is their responsibility to ensure that every peso we invest in our children’s future is a peso well spent.”

“If the COA findings are accurate, then I believe everyone can agree that this kind of waste is simply unacceptable, especially for an agency that has to maximize its resources,” said Abante. 

“The DepEd gets just over half a trillion pesos for the close to 22.8 million students enrolled in our public school system. It is their responsibility to ensure that every peso we invest in our children’s future is a peso well spent.”

According to the solon, he and his fellow legislators were concerned at the recurring problems involved in the procurement of learning materials for public school students. 

“This is not the first time that this has happened. Issues about the quality of the textbooks used in our public schools have been raised before, and we are concerned that those in DepEd involved in procuring these materials have not been able to address these issues,” said the legislator.

“Issues about the quality of the textbooks used in our public schools have been raised before.”

Abante explained that he and his colleagues in the Minority want to examine the manner in which the learning materials were procured to identify the “problematic areas” that need to be addressed. 

“We need to find out if this problem is a result of a flawed procurement system or the product of poor or maybe even corrupt management. This will allow us to propose remedies that will prevent these situations in the future.” 

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