Group to DepEd: Implement no-collection policy of Christmas party contributions

EXACTLY two weeks before Christmas, child welfare group, Akap Bata Party-List today urged the Education Department today to strictly implement DepEd Order 114, series of 2009 mandating public elementary and high schools to observe simple Christmas parties and no-collection policy on Christmas party fees.

Aside from making cash and in kind Christmas Party contributions voluntary for parents and students, the said DepEd memo also mandates public school officials to make decorations simple and inexpensive; make gift-giving be guided by the spirit of sharing and must not lead to extravagant spending; minimization of disruption of academic activities; and those schools who decided to forego Christmas parties to consider donating savings to relief assistance for families affected by recent calamities.

The group also reminded those public school officials who will be proven to violate the said memo and continue to hold lavish and compulsory holiday celebrations may face administrative penalties as reprimands or suspensions. The group also encouraged parents, students and concerned citizens to report cases of collection of Christmas Party contributions on their Education Monitor Hotline number (02) 4376831. They further ensured that identity of all the complainants will be confidential.

‘We are challenging DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to strictly implement DepEd Order 114, series of 2009 because we fear that the noble intention of the memorandum to not discriminate our poor children from attending Christmas celebrations  will just be on the papers,’ says Lean Peace Flores, national spokesperson of Akap Bata Party-List.

Flores added, ‘Even if that this memo is still existing today, we are still receiving reports that there are some public schools who are collecting Christmas Party contributions to students and their parents.’

She stresses, ‘We believe that our students can still enjoy meaningful yet spending less on food and other needs for Christmas parties. Food potlucks and exchange gifts that will be easy on the pocket of poor families will be enough to hold Christmas parties as long as our kids will be able to learn the real meaning of the occasion and celebration.’

The group made these statements today as they kicked-off the series of ‘Paskuhang Paslit’ gift-giving activities to less-fortunate kids all over Metro Manila. On their ‘Paskuhang Paslit’ launching today, the group gave gifts to 300 kids in San Agustin Church in Manila.

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