DepEd enforces 'No Collection Policy'
June 8, 2010 7:11 pm
MANILA, June 8 — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday assured the public that schools reported to be collecting contributions or fees at enrollment time will immediately be investigated for violating the DepEd’s “No Collection Policy.”
In the Oplan Balik Eskwela Command Conference Tuesday morning at the DepEd Central Office, Education Secretary Mona Valisno said that DepEd would strictly enforce the “No Collection Policy” to remove any and all financial obstacles to the enrollment of school-aged children in all public schools nationwide.
“We are committed to meet the country’s targets in the Education For All (EFA) Plan 2015, thus at this time of enrollment, we are removing all out-of-pocket costs which families have to bear in the course of sending their children to school,” said Valisno.
She said that the DepEd’s long standing policy that no fee, including any of the authorized voluntary contributions, should be collected in all public schools from elementary to high school from the enrollment period until the first month of classes.
Valisno also directed all regional and division offices to conduct monitoring activities during the enrollment period to ensure that this policy is observed by all public schools nationwide.
She said that any official, employee, or teacher found to be in violation of DepEd Orders will be subject to administration sanction.
Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, DepEd spokesman, said that the DepEd’s Action Center had so far received 10 complaints about illegal collection of fees in the National Capital Region (NCR) and three similar complaints from the provinces.
He said that the DepEd’s Quick Response Team (QRT) and the field offices were now investigating 13 schools to determine if indeed there was illegal collection of contributions.
“We are asking these schools to explain why there are persistent and numerous reports from the public that collections are going on,” he said.
The Action Center has also received queries regarding the 'No Mandatory Uniform Policy', incomplete documents for enrollment, and concerns about the requirements for transferring to another school.
Malaya said that the complaints included collection of various types of fees like the PTA fee and the ID fee during enrollment, otherwise the students were not allowed to enroll. He clarified that ID cards cannot be charged to students because the cost of the ID had already been integrated into the school’s MOOE funds.
He also said that the collection of authorized voluntary contributions are only allowed for those in Grade 5 up to 4th Year High School but only on the second month of classes and only on a voluntary basis. The authorized voluntary contributions are P50 – GSP/BSP; P5- Anti-TB Fund; and P60 Elementary and P90 High School for the School Publication Fee.
He also clarified that the PTA fee may only be collected after the PTA has presented a report of the previous year’s collection to their members and the school administration.
He assured the public that all complaints received by the DepEd’s Action Center are treated confidential, thus the identity of the complainant will not be released.
The DepEd has opened its Oplan Balik Eskwela Action Center in Pasig City to attend to complaints, queries, and suggestions from the public. Similar action centers have also been opened in various DepEd field offices. The public may call (02) 636-1663 and (02) 638-7529 to 31 for assistance. (PNA)