DepEd Directive on Inviting Candidates and Political Parties to Graduation Ceremonies
March 14, 2019
DepEd Memorandum No. 31, s. 2019
ACTIVITIES THAT CONSTITUTE ELECTIONEERING AND PARTISAN POLITICAL ACTIVITY DURING THE CAMPAIGN PERIOD IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAY 13, 2019 NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS
Bureau and Service Directors
Schools Division Superintendents Public Elementary and Secondary School Heads All Others Concerned
The Department of Eduation has issued DepEd Order (DO) No. 048, s. 2018 on November 13, 2018 entitled Prohibition on Electioneering and Partisan Political Activity, which reminds all its officials, teaching and non-teaching personnel of the constitutional and statutory prohibitions not to engage in any electioneering and partisan political campaign and/or activities.
The prohibition against electioneering and partisan political activities aims to ensure that government workers will remain focused on the affairs of the government, do away with the spoils (patronage) system, and shield public servants from the vagaries of politics.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has issued COMELEC Resolution No. 10488 entitled Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9006 otherwise known as the Fair Elections Act, which provides for the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections through fair election practices.
This COMELEC resolution has set the Campaign Period for Senators and Party list candidates from February 12, 2019 to May 11, 2019; and campaign period for congressmen and local officials from March 29, 2019 to May 11, 2019.
In the light of the Campaign Period for the 2019 National and Local Elections, DepEd expressly reiterates the prohibition not to engage in any act that is designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office, in accordance with the 1987 Philippine Constitution, existing laws, rules and regulations, and jurisprudence.
The graduation ceremonies of public elementary and secondary schools scheduled on March-April 2019 coincide with the Campaign Period for both the national and local candidates/parties. In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety and protect DepEd officials and employees from possible administrative and criminal liabilities, all heads of public elementary and secondary schools are hereby advised not to invite national and local candidates and political parties to their respective graduation ceremonies.
Political neutrality shall be observed at all times and everyone is enjoined to make a unified stand that the schools are neutral zones. Thus, all requests addressed to DepEd officials and employees for them to participate in consultative assemblies and/or meetings, shall not be allowed. This also covers requests for the use of Public Schools as venues for the said meetings and/or consultations.
Noncompliance with this directive shall be dealt with in accordance with DO 49, s. 2006 entitled Revised Rules of Procedure of the Department of Education in Administrative Cases, the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS), the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 6713 entitled Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
This Memorandum is without prejudice to other circulars, advisories, or resolutions that may hereinafter be adopted by the Civil Service Commission, COMELEC and/or other concerned agencies.
Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.
LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES