No collection policy still in effect

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By Lorenzo E. Mendoza

The Scribe's Corner

Sunday, June 1, 2014


DIRECTOR’S Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of DepEd 11 OIC Regional Director Nenita E. Lumaad, CSEE to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education) "You have to be familiar with all the programs and projects of our organization and you have to be accountable to each one”

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“We call on all teachers and school officials to see to it that we do not refuse a single student who wants to enroll. We strongly remind them that we do not collect any fees as a requirement for enrolment,”

This is the strongly worded statement of Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro amidst report of some public schools collecting or if not authorizing PTA officials to collect during enrolment time and some incident in the past where they were collecting in the first few days of classes.

The education secretary also added that certain contributions in public schools, while authorized by DepEd, do not mean that they are compulsory. The DepEd chief stressed the said contributions remain voluntary.

The main reason why DepEd re-issued this call to teachers, school officials and parents is to encourage the community to bring all school-aged children to school.

Sec. Luistro emphasized that in no case shall non-payment of voluntary school contributions or membership fees be made a basis for non-admission, non-promotion or non-issuance of clearance to a student and that includes withholding of school cards.

The fees which are authorized but not compulsory include Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts membership fees, Philippine National Red Cross, Anti-TB fund, school publication fee, and Parents Teachers Association fee.

Luistro has directed all school officials that no fees shall be collected from school children in kindergarten up to Grade 4 anytime during school year. For Grade 5 pupils up to fourth year high school students, there will be no collection from June to July. The above provisions are based on DepEd Order 41 series of 2012, which remains in effect up to this time and until it is rescinded.

The collection of DepEd authorized fees although will remain voluntary will start in August this year until the end of school year. The following fees and the prescribed amount are the following: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts membership fees of P50 per learner; Philippine National Red Cross, P35 per learner; Anti-TB fund drive of P5 per learner; school publication fee of P60 for every elementary pupils and P90 for every high school student. The Parents-Teachers Association fee must be reasonable and is to be determined during the PTA general assembly. In some schools, they are conducting homeroom meetings where the above collections are discussed and agree on a certain amount to be paid starting August until the last month of the school year.

The DepEd Order also emphasized that the PTA can only collect only after presenting to the PTA members and to the school head/principal report on the utilization of previous school year’s collections and the school year proposed budget with program of activities.

Adding that PTA fees, even though approved by a majority of PTA members, still remain voluntary, Luistro further said that school fees should not intimidate parents into bringing their children to school that is why he is urging all school officials to strictly observe these guidelines or face administrative sanctions.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo emphasized that the Philippine Government provides basic education free of charge to all citizens. He said that schools are not allowed to turn away students and only in extreme cases of overpopulation can they do it. In such cases, some schools will opt for Alternative Delivery Modes (ADMs).

In a press release from DepED official website, DepEd Assistant Secretary said that the public assistance station of DepEd Central Office has received a total of 63 queries since Monday, some of them regarding compulsory contributions. In these cases, they call the schools and find out the details. If the schools violate the strict prohibition on collection of fees, the DepED legal department will send them a warning.

Mateo encouraged the parents to contact the DepEd public assistance station for any complaints, concerns, and questions at 636-1669, 633-1942, 0919-456-0027, and through action@deped.gov.ph.

The same is true with complaints here in Davao Region, you may contact our local numbers found in the lower portion of this column.

This corner hopes that few, if not, no incident of collections upon enrolment and first few days of classes shall be reported to us or the media as the schools are expected to follow strictly DepED Order 41, s. 2012.

The following are important numbers in the regional office where you can call to address your queries left unanswered in the field offices and schools of DepED: RDO – 221-6147 , 291-1665, ARDO – 227-1102, ADM/Personnel – 225-0816, Asset/Supply – 227-0941, BFD – 225-8495, Cashier – 291-1738, CLMD/SED – 222-2653, ESSD/HNU – 224-0468, FTAD/PESS – 224-0748, ICT – 221-3288, Legal – 224-0352, PPRD/Elem – 224-0750, PSU – 225-6358, QAD – 224-0757 and Records – 224-0752.
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You can access DepED Updates, latest issuances, photos and other relevant information through our website: region11.deped.gov.ph and our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/deped.regionxi. For comments, suggestions and/or contributions, send your email to depedregion11@gmail.com. For queries, complains and other concerns, call DepED Region 11 at (082) 227-6147, (082) 291-1665 or fax to (082) 227-1102 and (082) 221-6147.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 02, 2014.

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