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Thursday, May 24, 2018

DepEd reminds principals, teachers on ‘no collection’ policy


DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones


With the ongoing enrollment at basic education levels nationwide, the Department of Education (DepEd) today reminded principals and teachers on existing “no collection” policy and enjoined parents and stakeholders to report the concerned public schools.
“We have repeated that policy again and again,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones when asked if there are still public schools that collect fees from elementary and secondary students. She noted that the DepEd has been consistently reminding its personnel in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide to refrain from imposing and collecting “compulsory” contributions among their students especially during enrollment period.
Briones reiterated that the DepEd is “firm on its goal to provide all Filipino learners with free basic education in public elementary and secondary schools.” Thus, the concerned school personnel must ensure that “collection of authorized contributions must remain voluntary, not compulsory.”
Meanwhile, DepEd Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo said the number of reported cases of public schools that violate the “no collection” policy of the Department has been decreasing in the recent years.
“The best solution to that is they report the school to us,” said Mateo. “They have no business to collect because their MOOE [Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses] is increasing unlike before that it’s very minimal,” he added.

Based on DepEd’s “No Collection” Policy, contributions should “not become monetary constraints for parents and learners” as DepEd acknowledges the “many expenses they incur just to send their children to school.”
Most importantly, DepEd reiterated that “failure to settle these voluntary school contributions shall not be used as a basis for non-admission, nonpromotion, or non-issuance of clearance to a student.” The “no collection policy” of the Department is stated in DepEd Order 41 series of 2012 which includes the implementing policies on the collection of voluntary school contributions.
Under the guidelines, DepEd allows authorized contributions for Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Anti-TB Fund Drive, Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), and school publication fee. Meanwhile, the contribution per learner for the BSP and GSP is P50, P35 for the PNRC, and P5 for the Anti-TB Fund Drive.
DepEd said “an exorbitant amount for the PTA contribution must be avoided.” This contribution, the Department added, “may only be collected after the PTA presents to their members and to the school head/principal a report on the utilization of the previous school year’s collections and their proposed budget with program of activities.”
For the school publication fee, DepEd stressed that “no more than sixty pesos (P60) may be collected from elementary pupils and not more than ninety pesos (P90) for high school students.” Although not mandatory, DepEd noted that the publication of the “school newspaper is encouraged to promote the journalism program at the elementary and secondary levels.”
Public schools nationwide will start classes on June 4. DepEd data showed that around 28-million students in both public and private schools are expected to troop back to their respective schools for the school year (SY) 2018-2019.

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