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DepEd Guidelines on the Alternative Work Arrangements in Light of the COVID-19 Stringent Social Distancing Measures




For the information and guidance of all concerned, attached is the DepEd Memorandum No. 43, s. 2020 entitled, “GUIDELINES ON THE ALTERNATIVE WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 STRINGENT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES” which is self-explanatory.

GUIDELINES ON THE ALTERNATIVE WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 STRINGENT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES

This guidelines provides for the work arrangements in the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementation of the Memorandum issued by the Office of the President (OP), through Executive Secretary Salvador C. Mediaidea, and citing Joint Resolution Nos. 11 and 12 (s. 2020) of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The Memorandum titled Stringent Social Distancing Measures and Further Guidelines for the Management of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation provides guidance on work-related gatherings and meetings and work arrangements in the context of stringent social distancing in the National Capital Region (NCR) for thirty days starting 00:00 a.m. of March 15, 2020 until 00:00 a.m. of April 14, 2020.




In its implementation of the measures, DepEd shall be guided by the following framework:

a. Observance of stringent social distancing measures by all DepEd offices, units, and schools located within NCR (including Region IV-B MIMAROPA Regional Office Proper). The social distancing measures are for the protection of each official, teaching and nonteaching personnel of DepEd, the immediate community and the country, and for the achievement of public health objectives such as the mitigation of the scale and speed of community transmission of COVID-19, as well as the conservation of the adequacy of the country’s health system and infrastructure to deal with the situation.




b. Continuity of delivery of DepEd essential services and priority programs, while observing stringent social distancing measures in work-related functions and responsibilities.

c. Consistency of the actions of each official, teaching and nonteacning personnel in the context of work and private activities, to ensure that the public health objectives are achieved and not compromised by inconsistent actions and behavior of individuals.

Consistent with the above framework, all Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries, and Regional Directors in Regional Offices NCR and TVB, are hereby directed to do the following:




a. Identify the essential and priority deliverables covering all offices and units located within NCR under their supervision for the period of March 16 to April 14, 2020.

b. Determine the Alternative Work Arrangement that will maximize social distancing for all officials and personnel, while ensuring delivery of essential and priority deliverables, and taking into consideration factors such as but not limited to exigency of the service, availability of manpower, specific health risks of personnel, and their available transportation arrangements. Alternative Work Arrangements shall be applicable to all personnel, including those hired under Job Order (JO) and Contract of Service (COS). Heads of Offices shall be given the discretion in the determination of the alternative work arrangement that is applicable for each functional office, guided by the following parameters:

i. Office operations of eight (8) hours a day from Monday to Friday of each week shall be maintained for continued delivery of quality services to the public, internal clients, and other stakeholders. As such, in determining the work arrangement, the office must ensure that there is a sufficient number personnel in the office to render the said services.

ii. In determining the number and deployment of personnel that will be assigned to be present at the office, equitable distribution shall be observed. The following personnel shall be exempted from being assigned to be present at the office:

Personnel who are at high risk to infections including but not limited to pregnant women; age sixty (60) years and above; Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) or Persons Under Investigation (PUI); and personnel with the following illness and/or pre-existing medical conditions:

a. Mild manifestations of symptoms such as fever, dry cough, fatigue, sputum production, sore throat, headache, myalgia or arthralgia, chills, nausea or vomiting, nasal congestion, diarrhea;

b. Severe manifestations such as difficulty of breathing and/or respiratory rate greater than or equal to 30/minute; and

c. Underlying medical problems, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression.

Personnel residing outside NCR, taking into consideration exposure during travel, limited modes of public transportation options, imposition of curfew, and regulatory limitations on intermunicipality/city travel.

iii. Telecommuting is an alternative work arrangement that allows employees to work from home or other off-site locations; provided that personnel must be readily accessible during working hours and must be able to respond to directives, requests, and queries through agreed modes of communication with their immediate supervisor. Personnel who will not form part of the office-assigned officers and personnel based on the office weekwork plan, including the exemptions enumerated above, shall render services through telecommuting arrangements.

iv. A Workweek Plan (see attached template in Enclosure 1) indicating the consolidated individual staff schedule for both office-assigned and telecommuting personnel shall be submitted by division chiefs or unit heads, subject to the approval of the Head of Office. The workweek plan shall specify each personnel’s office work and scheduled telecommutina arrangements with period of hours per day indicated. .

c. Adopt a monitoring and reporting mechanism to validate performance of assigned work and functions, and ensure delivery of committed essential services and priority programs.

Each personnel shall submit at the end of each week an Individual Workweek Accomplishment Report (see attached template in Enclosure 2) reflecting their actual days of attendance to work (on-site and off-site) and time log per day with corresponding weekly output.

d. Cancel or postpone all nonessential meetings or gatherings, while adopting teleconferencing technologies for all essential meetings or gatherings. Essential meetings that need to be done face-to-face shall observe strict health and social distancing measures, and must be approved at the level of the Secretary, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, or Regional Directors.

e. Adopt stringent health and social distancing protocols in the workplace, during travel, and in the private premises and activities to be observed by all officals and personnel at all times. Personnel reporting for work shall be provided alternative work mechanisms and necessary preventive health support such as but not limited to appropriate technologies to minimize face-to-face contact, protective equipment (if necessary and subject to availability), and adequate supply of proper hygiene and sanitizing agents such as hand sanitizers or alcohol.

Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries, Bureau and Service Directors, Regional Directors, and Schools Division Superintendents must ensure their availability for decision-making and effective supervision of all work arrangements at all times.

To avoid risks of exposure pending the undertaking of paragraph 4 hereof, all personnel in DepEd offices in NCR shall work from home tomorrow, March 16, 2020, except for those specifically identified by the Secretary and by Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries, through their respective Bureau and Service Directors, as well as by Regional Directors of NCR and IVB, to report for work. All those reporting for work on March 16, 2020 shall observe existing health precautions and stringent social distancing measures not only in the work premises, but also during their travel to and from the office, and in their private premises and activities.

Pursuant to Item No. 1 of the same OP Memorandum which states that “(cjlasses and all school activities in all levels shall continue to be suspended until 14 April 2020,” all teaching and nonteaching personnel in elementary and secondary schools in NCR, and in other areas where class suspension on account of COVID-19 is officially declared by their respective LGUs, shall not be required to report to work during the period of class suspension.

In areas outside NCR where community quarantine based on guidelines by the IATF or the DOH has been imposed by the appropriate authorities, the framework and the directives herein shall also be applied.

The DepEd Task Force COVID-19 is hereby directed to issue the uniform and minimum standards for social distancing within the workplace, during travel, and in private premises and activities.

All DepEd officials, teaching and nonteaching personnel are enjoined to monitor the day-to-day developments of the COVID-19 situation to be able to contribute to informed, coordinated, and proportionate response of the Department to the challenge of containing and managing COVID-19.

Further guidelines shall be issued to clarify, amend, refine or supplement the above measures, or to align them with directives of the President, recommendations of the IATF and/or the Department of Health, and other applicable rules, regulations and guidelines.

This Memorandum takes effect immediately upon issuance.

Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.

LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES
Secretary

DepEd Memorandum on Alternative Work Arrangements

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