Why are DepEd cameras so overpriced?


The Internet is appalled by the revelation that the Department of Education placed orders for overpriced cameras

PHP 155k for a camera with entry-level specs?

In a viral tweet by @natoreyes dated January 31, he tweeted about a post made by a professional photographer who made an inquiry about DepEd’s alleged overpricing of a Canon DSLR unit. Original poster Jhun Dantes saw the tag on one of the acquired cameras by the Department of Education priced at PHP 155,929.00, noting that the unit is a Canon 1500D DSLR with kit lens.

Upon investigation by tweeter @natoreyes, the current price of a similar unit on an online shopping website is only PHP 23,798.59 and can even be purchased at a discount price of PHP 21,998.59.

Looking at the issue further, Reyes saw upon research that the allegation does not seem to be an isolated case and could be an ongoing one. Reyes included some sample notices made by DepEd allocating a PHP 500,000 budget for a DSLR camera and a camcorder.

Meanwhile, as seen in documents, in 2019, a PHP 816K budget was approved for two DLSRs, a camcorder and battery grip, two tripods, and a condenser mic.

Netizens with the same gadgets and some photographers chimed in on the conversation that the budget allocated for these acquisitions was indeed overpriced and that the specs indicated did not make sense as DSLR cameras are not mirrorless, which were the specs indicated on the forms.

In one of the replies, someone even pointed out how government acquisitions are priced differently than regular purchases only by around 5-10%.

As of writing, the government has been urged to do an investigation on the overpriced purchases of the Department of Education as stated in a report by Manila Bulletin. In a statement made on February 1, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) called the DepEd, Commission on Audit (CoA), and the government’s legislative branches to probe the case.

Meanwhile, DepEd spokesperson Atty. Michael Poa addressed some concerns over the procurement of the cameras. Poa instructed the Public Affairs Service to request verification on the 2019 procurement documents to verify the camera purchases in question.

This isn’t DepEd’s first rodeo with overpriced purchases. In August of 2022, the department was also in hot water for purchasing overpriced entry-level laptops worth over PHP 58.3K.

Here’s to hoping for more transparency and proper budgeting from the Department of Education following these cases.

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