COA flags NTC’s 44 smartphone purchases amounting to PHP 2.1 million
The Commission on Audit (COA) has recently discovered the purchase of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of high-end smartphones which are not being used for the commission’s actual projects.
As reported by CNN, the central and Metro Manila offices of NTC has a record of purchasing 44 units of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S10 in 2018 and 2019. This amounts to a total of PHP 2.1 million.
Back in 2018 and 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (4GB + 64GB) and Samsung Galaxy S10 (8GB+ 128GB) retails for PHP 45,990 and PHP 49,990 respectively.
The commission also found that NTC only uses four out of 44 units purchased. The smartphones are being used to monitor the performance of telecommunications networks in terms of speed, reliability, and coverage.
COA said that none of the central office personnel with issued mobile phones conducted validation and measurement of broadband speed. Most of the phones were issued to directors and officers-in-charge within NTC who are not involved in the testing of broadband performance.
Out of 13 NTC engineers assigned to the National Capital Region who conducts the tests, only three received a smartphone unit. The remaining 10 just borrow the units issued to the other personnel when they have to conduct the tests and validation.
According to the NTC, the smartphones were issued to the directors for them to check broadband services as regular users. They were to use the units for conducting tests wherever and whenever which are necessary for crafting new policies and regulations for the improvement of broadband services.
However, the auditors said that it is unclear if the test were to help in policymaking since no one from the recipients of the smartphones has submitted reports.
Source: CNN Philippines