The Department of Education is in the process of changing its policy on the buffer stock of learning materials in its central office warehouses.

This, after the Commission on Audit reported that the DepEd was able to deliver only 11.8 million out of the 38.5 million textbooks and instructional and learning materials, which were supposed to be distributed to public school students and teachers.

“This small portion is allotted in times of calamities, as replacement of old or worn-out books, and for newly established schools and increased enrolment, among others,” the DepEd said in a statement.

The DepEd said buffer stock pertains to 7 percent of the completed development, printing, and delivery of learning materials for the projected enrolment of the school year.

It said a “large chunk” of the procured textbooks are delivered to their warehouses while part of it is to be delivered directly to the school districts.

Following COA’s recommendation, the DepEd said it would now maintain only 0.05 percent, not 2 percent, of the 7-percent buffer stock of learning materials in their warehouses.

It would also distribute the remaining 6.95 percent learning materials to all public schools.

On the correction of the errors in textbooks, the DepEd reported that the Bureau of Learning Resources has conducted three workshops involving academicians and DepEd validators to check comments and recommendations on learning resources and textbooks for Kindergarten to Grade 10 from certain regions.

“Validated findings, description of errors found, and recommendations on how to correct these will comprise the “notes of teachers” that the Department shall issue through a memorandum to the regions,” it said.

The DepEd added it seeks to expand its authority in view of Republic Act 8047, which mandates the writing and printing of textbooks with private publishers.

It also mandates DepEd to prepare the minimum learning competencies, and/or prototypes and other specifications for books and/or manuscripts called for; test, evaluate, select, and approve the manuscripts or books to be submitted by the publishers for multiple adoption.

“Even as the Department recognizes the policy of promoting competition in offering this exercise to the private sector, it also expresses concern that accountability is dispersed among different stakeholders,” the DepEd said. (PNA)

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