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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:31 am 
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Browse > Home / Title: Speaker gives away ‘overpriced’ laptops to 250 congressmen
Speaker gives away ‘overpriced’ laptops to 250 congressmen

September 8, 2011



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HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. played a very generous Santa last Christmas to 250 congressmen. He reportedly gifted each solon with two “overpriced” computer laptops worth P300,000 per recipient. The total amount of the stupendous presents: P75 million.

The HP laptop computers were a result of the E-District project by the previous administration that was supposed to allow the districts to directly call the congressmen in the House “for free” via the Voice Over Internet Protocol. It also aimed to save on communications cost.

However, the House under Belmonte did not implement the project. The lawmakers ended up using “overpriced” laptops that normally cost P30,000 each.

Each laptop that was given away to 250 congressmen by Belmonte cost P150,000 each. Thu, each solon received two computers worth with a combined amount of P300,000.

An Waray Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel, chairman of the House committee on accounts, confirmed the mass distribution of some 500 units of laptops. He could not explain why the House leadership failed to compel Advance Solutions, Inc. to set up the VOIP in Batasan and other service areas nationwide.

Noel said he ordered the company’s P7.5-million retainer fees withheld because of its failure to set up the VOIP services and back-up server systems.

Advance Solutions, Inc. was paid already its total contract price of P75 million even if the VOIP system was not installed.

“I am using both laptops here in my office (in the House),” said House Assistant Minority Leader Maria Milagros Magsaysay of Zambales.

Magsaysay also hit a Palace official for acquiring expensive brands of computer and Blackberry cell phones. The lady solon added that she was not aware that the two laptops cost P300,000.

Under the contract, a copy of which was obtained by People’s Tonight, only the lawmakers with legislative districts were entitled to the laptop computers.

Sources said Belmonte and Noel chose to equip their allies, including party-list groups, with the overpriced laptops.

They even gave away two units to Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman, a member of the Liberal Party, although Basilan did not have access to Internet services.

The office of Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño paid its own VOIP services to maximize the use of the laptops.

As required by the House, the laptops have features such as Intel atom, 1.66 gigahertz, mobile 945 GSE, a chip set, installed RAM 2.0 GP, Gb DDR2, 10 to 12 inches wide screen, operating system Windows XP Pro with license or documentation recovery CD to accompany each laptop.

Each unit also has a CD/CD writer, DVD/DVD writer software, imaging photograph,video software and Adobe reader.

The E-District, through the VOIP system, hoped to enhance the networking function of the district offices with the local government units, organizations and institutions, social sectors, research groups and even individual citizens by creating a web-based voice and data communication facilities which are very cost-effective.

The House also required that the geographic information system be made available 24/7 and operate with 99.9 reliability. This meant that other than any planned server downtime, the system must be fully operational.

The additional servers were also expected to be provided on site at the Batasan complex, DMS-CMS data back up server system onsite in Batasan and offsite disaster recovery service.

The system was supposed to be difficult to hack.

All these were not provided by the Advance Solutions, Inc. Sources are puzzled as to why House leaders could not explain why they cannot compel the company to deliver what was required of them.

Belmonte was not available when reached for comment.

Kakahiya naman hi Bem Noel... tsk tsk


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 am 
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dapat bro didto ini ha politics section kay pirmi may giyera didto lol! pero i repost ko na la.


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