After drawing flak on social media, the Department of Health (DOH) has canceled its planned procurement of four “high-end” laptops amounting to P700,000.

Dr. Eric Tayag, director of the DOH’s knowledge management and information technology service office, said the agency has canceled the purchase of the laptops, explaining that the funds will be allocated to a hospital in Baguio City. 

“Ki-nancel na po namin ‘yan,” Tayag said duriong a hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee. 

“Pero bago namin kinansela ‘yan, ‘yung mga laptop pong ‘yan ay gagamitin sana ng aming mga developers. Hindi naman po pwede na ‘yung ordinaryong laptop lamang,” he added.

Tayag further explained that they were not able to determine the brand of the laptop since they already canceled the purchase. 

However, they insisted that the agency needs an “upgraded” computer to fulfill their mandate, including creating a vaccination registry. 

“‘Yung opisina ko po kasi kailangan namin kasi kami po ‘yung gumagawa ng mga registry. Halimbawa, ‘yung bakuna registry kailangan naming mailagay at ma-visualize para maparating sa mga policymakers kung ano na ‘yung datos,” Tayag said.

“So kailangan namin talaga ng mas upgraded na computer. Kung ordinary lang, mabagal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said that his gaming laptop, which is “one of the fastest” units, only cost him P96,000.

The procurement of four laptops came from a report of the Health Department’s Bids and Awards Committee dated August 4, which showed the request for the best and final offer for four “high-end 2-in-1 laptops with accessories” for P175,000 each. Ronald Espartinez