THE DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) has issued a memorandum directing its offices and public schools to observe belt-tightening measures during this year’s Christmas celebrations as Filipinos cope with “difficult economic times.”
DepEd entities should make their celebrations “simple yet meaningful,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a department order.
They should keep in mind “the true spirit of the season and the austerity called for by the difficult economic times,” she added.
“No learner or DepEd personnel should be forced to contribute, participate or use their money for the celebration,” the Dec. 2 order read.
Students who can’t give a contribution or gift should not be excluded from joining Christmas parties, it added.
“Contributions for celebrations in schools or offices, whether in cash or in kind, should be strictly voluntary.”
Christmas decorations “should be recycled,” DepEd said, adding that it does not encourage the purchase of new decors.
Christmas parties can be organized within class hours provided that they do not interrupt scheduled lesson plans, according to the order.
“The conduct of Christmas get-togethers and other similar year-end activities should not compromise the provision of departmental services,” it added.
The education agency also said “solicitations, whether in cash or in kind, are not allowed for Christmas parties or holiday celebrations.”
Private schools, community learning centers, and state or local universities and colleges “may choose to adopt” the provisions of the DepEd order.
Headline inflation rose to 7.7% in October from 6.9% a month earlier. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza