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DepEd kicks off 2019 ‘Brigada Eskwela’ in Cavite

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday (May 16) launched the national kick-off and caravan of the 2019 Brigada Eskwela in Alfonso, Cavite.

With this year’s theme, “Matatag na Bayan Para sa Maunlad na Paaralan,” DepEd officials led the kick-off ceremony and caravan of the 16th “Brigada Eskwela” at the Alfonso Central School. They were joined by some teachers, students and parents for the cleaning of school chairs, desks and other facilities.

After a short program at the Alfonso Central School, DepEd officials next headed to the Pansin Elementary School in Barangay Lucsuhin Ibaba to conduct more cleaning and repair works.

“We, as a community can join our hands so that we can address the needs because if we con’t volunteer ourselves to be of service to others, it will be difficult for the schools to attain our goals,” said Odilon Ocampo, principal of Pansin Elementary School as he expressed his gratitude for the effort.

He also thanked DepEd for opening 24 new classrooms in their school that would help eliminate any need for scheduling shifting of classes.

“Brigada Eskwela” is the National Schools Maintenance Week devoted to preparing classrooms and other school facilities for the opening of the school year, which in 2019 to 2020, will begin on June 3.

READ: School opening stays on June 3 – DepEd

The “Brigada Eskwela” will run from May 20 to 25, according to DepEd memorandum no. 036.

DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali reminded the public that students, as well as their parents, are not obliged to join the program for them to remain enrolled in a particular school.

Umali also emphasized that no fee shall be solicited from volunteers participating in the program.

“When there is Brigada Eskwela, collecting cash is prohibited. Obligating parents is prohibited. This must not be among the conditions for a student to remain enrolled,” he said. (with details from Benedict Samson)

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Deped suspends 55 ‘Lumad’ schools in Davao

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

The Department of Education (Deped) temporarily suspends 55 ‘Lumad’ schools in Davao region after receiving reports from National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

The said school are operated by Salugpungan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc.

According to Deped XI Spokesperson Jenielito Atillo, the National Security Council has reported the involved schools are allegedly teaching ideologies that advocate against the government.

“Number one, allegedly they do not teach in accordance to the guidelines set forth by the department. Number two, allegedly they are using children in rallies and number three they teach the children ideologies that advocate against government,” he said.

A testimony from a former teacher of Salugpungan School also verified the allegation.

Atillo said they will temporarily revoke the schools’ permission to operate while investigations on the report is on-going. “We would like to give them the democratic process of due process,” he said.

Deped XI already received reports about schools teaching ideologies of the New People’s Army rebels.

Meanwhile, Deped is prepared to assist the Lumad students and teachers affected by the suspension.—AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

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Find out: Who should announce class suspensions when weather is stormy?

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019


MANILA, Philippines – The skies are gloomy and the rains are pouring heavily.

Ferocious winds are whipping the trees, rushing waters are logging the streets.

Students and parents are both wondering: Is it safe to go out for school?

Others also look out the window and think: Is the weather stormy enough for a class suspension?

But who has the last say on class suspension? Local officials? The national government or the school’s administration?

According to the Executive Order No. 66 series of 2012 issued by the Department of Education (DepEd), the cancellation of classes will depend on the tropical cyclone warning signal number raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

During Signal number one, preschool and kindergarten classes in affected areas will be automatically suspended.

For signal number two, kindergarten, elementary and high school classes will be canceled.

When signal number three or higher is raised by Pagasa, classes at pre-school, elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, in affected areas, including graduate school, as well as work in all government offices, shall be automatically canceled or suspended.

Suspension of classes the following day will depend on the signal number declared at 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

But what if the weather is inclement and no storm warning signal was issued?

In the absence of storm warning signals, Deped said the suspension of classes and work may be ordered by local chief executives as heads of local disaster risk reduction and management councils.

“Ngayon, ‘pag wala namang storm signal, ang local government unit, kasi sila ang nakakaalam ng kondisyon doon sa kanilang lugar, sila ang pwedeng mag-declare ng suspension of classes. Wala talaga dito ang DepEd,” said DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo.

A school administration may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent loss of life or bodily harm.

Section 2 of EO No. 66 also states that LGU officials are expected to announce cancellation or suspension not later than 4:30 a.m. for whole day cancellation or suspension, or not later than 11:00 a.m. for afternoon cancellation or suspension.

School officials and members of local disaster offices are also requested to render service in the designated evacuation centers.

But what if the local government failed to announce the suspension of classes on time?

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said administrative charges may be filed against concerned officials if they are proven to have committed negligence over the matter.

“Ang una sigurong gawin ng DILG is, ipaalala muna sa kanila, i-remind muna sila sa kanilang tungkulin, at kung talagang naging pabaya ay doon tayo magkakaroon ng sanction,” said Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the DILG.

The DepEd order, however, maintains that parents have the ultimate responsibility for determining whether their children should go to school, even if no class suspension order has been issued. (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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2 drug suspects fall in buy-bust ops in Cavite

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

Two suspected drug peddlers were arrested by authorities in a buy-bust operation conducted in Cavite on Thursday night (July 4).

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) identified the suspects as Ato Labing Kasim, 30 and Jubaire Mohammad Kitab, 21.

PDEA said that Kasim and Kitab are allegedly linked to a Chinese drug lord, currently detained at the New Bilibid Prisons, who operates in parts of Metro Manila, Tacloban and Cavite. The alleged drug lord is also said to be operating in Mindanao with the help of a former mayor.

“Itong si Ato Kasim, may direct link kay Butokan Kendong na taga-Cotabato. Ito naman si Botokan Kendong, may direct link kay Montaser Sabal na amo din nito na former Mayor ng Talitay, Magindanao,” said Levi Ortiz, PDEA Special Enforcement Service Director III.

“Now these people, ang drugs kinukuha nila sa Chinese source na naka-detain ngayon sa Muntinlupa,” Ortiz added.

Recovered from the suspects were around one kilogram of shabu (crystal meth), which is estimated to worth nearly P7 million, and two vehicles allegedly used for drug transactions.

The suspects have denied the allegations.

“Hindi po namin kilala ‘yan, si Montaser Sabal,” Kasim said.

“Hindi ko po alam na mayroon pong droga sa ilalim ng upuan po ng sasakyan kasi ‘pag pinagpa-drive po ako, binibigyan ako P500 pamasahe pauwi,” Kitab said.

PDEA said the two suspects will face charges for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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