According to a news report, a Comelec commissioner gave a statement on the purchase price of PCOS machines:
Larrazabal said with the reduced number of PCOS to be purchased they also expect the cost to drop to P22 million from P52 million original cost estimate. “There’s a big discrepancy. It is cheaper to purchase the machines than lease it,” he said.
Questions: Why is it cheaper to buy than to lease? If that is a “discrepancy,” who has the responsibility to deal with such a discrepancy?
Hint for answers: Comelec is an independent constitutional body.
Some simple arithmetic: It seems that the purchase price of a PCOS machine is now of the order of US$400. The lease price, on the other hand, is roughly $2,000. (If the purchase price is reasonable, the lease price cannot be. More likely, the purchase price reflects the “stale goods” nature of the machines, a bit like selling a two-week old newspaper. Its true opportunity cost to the seller is zero because it would have been written off anyway, so the price is in a sense “pure profit.” Is that reasonable?)