'No forced contribution': DepEd issues Christmas party guidelines

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2022 11:11 AM

Department of Education in Pasig City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Department of Education in Pasig City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Education has issued guidelines for the conduct of Christmas parties in its offices and public schools, as Filipinos mark the yuletide season with the loosest restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christmas celebrations in public schools and DepEd offices "should be simple yet meaningful, keeping in mind the true spirit of the season and the austerity called for by the difficult economic times," Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said in a Dec. 2 order.

According to the order, Christmas parties must be voluntary and "not result to expenses that will become a burden on parents, students and DepEd personnel."

"No learner or DepEd personnel should be forced to contribute, participate or use their money for the celebration," it said.

No student should also be excluded from joining Christmas parties because they failed to give a contribution or gift, the agency added.

The DepEd said old Christmas decorations "should be recycled. [The] purchase of new decors are not encouraged."

Christmas parties can be organized within class hours as long as they do not interfere with the scheduled lesson plans, the department said.

The DepEd also reminded personnel that "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 DepEd's guidelines on Christmas parties, according to the agency.

Schools have been unable to hold in-person Christmas parties in the previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Philippine schools also returned to five days of face-to-face classes at full capacity, following two years of closures due to the health crisis.

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