PROPER coordination between the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Provincial Schools Division and local government units (LGU) is needed to forge a “harmonious” relationship.
To ensure this, the Provincial School Board (PSB) on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, passed a resolution requesting the schools division office to conduct a consultation with the concerned local school board before appointing a district supervisor.
The move is in response to concerns raised by several mayors who were disheartened by the division office’s alleged lack of prior consultation before the appointment of their district supervisors.
It was League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Cebu chapter president and Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco who brought up the matter during the PSB’s meeting at the Capitol.
Frasco lamented that the same concerns were raised earlier by the LMP under the administration of her predecessor, former Tuburan mayor and now Vice Mayor Democrito Diamante.
In 2018, the LMP passed a unanimous resolution requesting the transfer of Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud out of the province.
“We believe that it is really important to maintain a harmonious relationship with both the LGU and the local DepEd as well as the division office in jointly pursuing our roles in education. That being said, it is quite unfortunate that in the past three years, there has been a practice of not following the statutory requirement of Section 99 of the Local Government Code, requiring the DepEd to mandatorily consult the local school boards prior to the appointment of district supervisors and principals,” Frasco said.
Section 99 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides that “The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) shall consult the local school board on the appointment of division superintendents, district supervisors, school principals, and other school officials.”
In Liloan, Frasco said the non-coordination of the division office has branched out from not only failing to conduct a prior consultation of appointments, but into duplication of some school projects as well.
The mayor recalled that a municipal district sports meet was held in the town without coordination with the LGU.
There was also an instance wherein school buildings were built without prior notice, resulting in improper distribution of facilities to public schools. Because of alleged non-coordination, school edifices end up having no proper building permits. As a result, municipal engineers cannot determine if the building is structurally safe and sound or not.
These concerns, though, have been resolved following the appointment of a new district supervisor that had the “conformity” of Liloan.
“These are some of the things that happened, which resulted in a crack in the relationship between the LGU and the local DepEd. On our part, and I know I speak for other mayors, we have never wanted anything more than to work with the DepEd because education is our priority and we would like to assist the DepEd in the implementation of education programs, especially considering that in the schools they’re running, it is the LGU from whom they ask funding for their activities (through the Special Education Fund),” Frasco said.
Division schools representative Leah Apao said Angtud might have been following Item 1.2 of DECS Order (DO) 7 series of 1999, which provides that the “Selection and appointment to the positions of District Supervisors and Principals (elementary and secondary) shall be the responsibility of the Schools Division Superintendent. DECS Order Nos. 8 and 34, s. 1993 and the 1995 DECS Qualification Standards Manual and other rules and regulations shall be used as the basis for such selection and appointment.”
Frasco, though, said while the LMP recognizes the mandate of the superintendent, the mayors want the local DepEd to recognize also its responsibility to consult them. (RTF)