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DepEd to look into claims it bought ‘overpriced’ camera

by Joyce Remo

Recently updated on March 28, 2023 08:45 am

THE Department of Education will look into social media allegations that it bought an overpriced camera, supposedly paying a premium price for an entry-level gadget. 

But DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said the device in question, a digital single-lens reflex camera, did not come from the department’s central office.  

The price of the camera was seen in the now-deleted Facebook post of a freelance journalist. The post included the photo of the camera with a DepEd sticker that indicated that it cost over P 155,000.

This set social media abuzz since the retail price of the same model is just a little less than P34,000. This was based on the camera brand’s official website.

“As of now, it is hard to comment on the photo because the model is not visible, but I am checking with the Public Affairs Service to coordinate with the procurement service to investigate the case,” Poa told republicasia. 

He also said the DepEd Central Office does not use entry-level cameras but professional ones. It has Canon Mark IV cameras to cover public affairs events, he said. 

“I can confirm na hindi galing sa amin sa central office yung camera from the Facebook post,” he said. “We use Canon Mark IV kasi gamit na gamit talaga for public affairs event and it’s not comparable to entry-level cameras.”

A Canon Mark IV unit cost P 209,998, excluding its lens, based on the brand’s website.

Poa also said he was certain the camera shown in the Facebook post was not from the central office due to the color of the device’s sticker. He said the DepEd uses yellow stickers for central office cameras and white for regional ones.

The DepEd official made the statements when asked about social media comments that it was buying overpriced equipment. 

Netizens couldn’t help but compare this to the earlier controversy over the department’s purchase of overpriced laptops. 

Is there a pattern?

Activist and Bagong Alyansa Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. could not help but wonder if it was DepEd’s habit to pay very high prices for gadgets it would procure. 

On Twitter, Reyes shared documents showing the amounts that the DepEd set aside for the purchase of equipment. 

“Mukhang matagal nang modus itong sa mga camera. Heto ang mga sample notices ng DepEd para sa purchase ng mga camera. Approved budget ay P500k para sa isang DSLR at isang camcorder. Specs indicated here,” Reyes tweeted. 

Based on the department’s request for quotation, it has a P500,000 budget for the following equipment:

  • one DSLR / Mirrorless Camera
  • one Professional Camera

Another document showed DepEd Caraga setting a budget of  P170,000 to purchase a mirrorless camera. Reyes believes the specs indicated in the request for quotation correspond to an “entry-level” camera.

“Do the specs justify the approved budget?” he asked. 



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