Tobacco company-funded donations for Brigada prohibited

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PASIG CITY May 25, 2018 – Accepting gifts, donations, and sponsorships directly and indirectly from the tobacco industry, including those that may be coursed through DepEd stakeholders, partners, or third parties in the guide of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects is not allowed.

The Department of Education (DepEd) issues this reminder in time for the conduct of 2018 Brigada Eskwela beginning May until before the opening of classes on June 4 and in compliance to DepEd Order No. 48, series 2016 (DO 48), or Policy Guidelines on Comprehensive Tobacco Control.

Brigada, otherwise known as the National Schools Maintenance Week, brings together education stakeholders to participate and contribute time, effort, and resources to prepare public school facilities. However, DepEd iterates that companies and other players in the tobacco industry are not among these stakeholders.

“We welcome partners who can work with us in fulfilling our mandate, and in promoting the theme for this year’s Brigada, ‘Pagkakaisa para sa Handa, Ligtas at Matatag na Paaralan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan’; however, we cannot consider as partners those industries that undermine our efforts to fulfill our mandate, which includes the promotion of healthy environments in schools through our tobacco policies,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized.

The reminder applies not just during the conduct of Brigada but throughout the year as well. Given this, schools are reminded exercise due diligence to ensure that sponsorships and donations received are not from foundations and non-government organizations funded by tobacco companies (including retailers of tobacco products) and sponsor refuse volunteers who engage with tobacco companies.

As a safeguard, DO 48 requires all DepEd offices and schools to “include a provision in all memoranda of agreement entered into with donors and partners stating full commitent of all parties concerned to tobacco control implementation and stipulating that said donor or partner does not represent the interests of, or receive funding from the tobacco industry.”

The Department Order is anchored on the joint memorandum circular (JMC) issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Department of Health (DOH) in 2010, which states that interaction of public officials and employees with the tobacco industry is permitted “only when strictly necessary for the latter’s effective regulation, supervision, or control.”

Violations of the provisions of the JMC shall be reported to the CSC, as per the Commission’s Guide for Resolving/Filing Cases of Tobacco Industry Interference in the Bureaucracy.

Source DepEd Philippines

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