MALACAÑANG on Monday, August 12, expressed confidence that Education Secretary Leonor Briones would not allow any irregularities at the Department of Education (DepEd).
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was reacting to the Commission on Audit (COA) 2018 report, which noted that the DepEd lost P254.253 million to error-filled textbooks.
The COA also noted that instructional materials worth P113.708 million remained undistributed in five DepEd warehouses that were also fire hazards.
"As far as I know, the Secretary of Education is very competent, intelligent educator," Panelo said in a statement.
"And she is someone who will never allow any irregularity or any anomaly inside her department," he added.
The state auditor reported that books for Grade 3 students were riddled with errors, despite the "meticulous checking, review and evaluation processes."
The learning materials include those for Araling Panlipunan, Science, and English subjects, the COA said.
The state audit agency called on DepEd to evaluate the errors in the textbooks and take immediate action to correct those currently circulating in public schools as the main reference for learners and teachers.
It also ordered the department to "improve and strengthen" its review of instructional materials before publication and distrbution to ensure the adoption of error-free instructional materials.
COA also emphasized that P113.708 million worth of learning materials procured as buffer stock from 2014 to 2017 were "minimally distributed in the last four years" and "an alarming number" lie idle in five warehouses. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)