Home » Activities

Rep. Castro on the DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees and on a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd

23 August 2017 No Comment

Interpellation of ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro on the 2018 DepEd budget
22 August 2017

On DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees

— Castro noted that Secretary Briones issued DepEd Order 37, series of 2017 directing a “mandatory, random and suspicionless drug testing of all incumbent officials and employees in the Central, Regional and Division Offices”

— However, the solon said that subjecting all employees to a drug test goes beyond the law, citing Section 36 (d), Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which stresses the randomness of the procedure: “Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company’s work rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace.”

— She also underscored fears that drug testing of a random sample of 60,000 junior and senior high school students as directed by the secretary’s DepEd Order 40 will be used to give way for tokhang in schools and tokhang involving students.  “How can the Department assure the public that any data will be handled with the highest confidentiality and not end up used for tokhang which has already claimed the lives of thousands including minors like 5-year-old Danica Garcia last year and 17-year-old Kian De los Santos just recently?  How can the Department assure that any student who tested positive will be in no way treated as a criminal?”

— “Sa mga nangyayari ngayon, nakikita natin na wala nang halaga ang due process—mapagkamalan ka lang, i-nguso ka lang, patay na.  Kaya takot tayo, ang mga magulang, estudyante, komunidad, na dahil sa drug testing na ito, mas marami pang mamamatay sa so-called war on drugs ng administrasyon.”

On the funding for the non-monetary benefits of teachers under collective negotiation agreements with the DepEd

— “Tatlo na po ang unyon na may CNAs with their respective Regional Offices of the DepEd, namely, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Capital Region Union, ACT Region VI Union, and ACT Region XI.  May mga nakapaloob na non-monetary benefits sa CNAs na ito na sa tingin natin ay kailangan sa ating mga eskwelahan kaya karapat-dapat na mapondohan.”

— Castro enumerated these benefits which the DepEd through the ROs agreed to provide in the schools within their respective jurisdictions: “Halimbawa po, yung internet connection, office supplies, bulletin boards, faculty rooms, water and water dispenser, first aid kits, lapel microphones, plaques of appreciation for retirees, annual medical and dental examinations, sports programs, and legal service.  Kung ito-total po natin itong mga napagkasunduan sa tatlong rehiyon, aabot sa mga P1.1 bilyon.  Agree po ba ang ating Secretary na makagawa ng solusyon para mapondohan sa 2018 itong non-monetary benefits na ito?”

 

— The Secretary did not give a reply to said question.

On a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd

— Castro raised to the attention of Secretary Briones her Department Order 66, series of 2017 (dated April 6) which directs the dissemination and filling up of a survey form with obvious positions against the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, for a ceasefire and against the forging of negotiated peace settlements such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) sought by the peace talks, and favoring constitutional amendments.

— The following are the questions in the survey form:

1. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na permanente nang itigil ang labanan sa pagitan ng mga sundalo ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo para mailaan na ang bilyon-bilyong pisong pondo na nauubos sa giyera ng mga Filipino laban sa kapwa

Filipino para magamit natin ito sa higit na makabuluhang mga serbisyo–publiko tulad ng edukasyon, kalusugan, pabahay, pagsugpo ng kahirapan, pagpapalakas ng kababaihan, pagpapa-unlad ng kanayunan, depensang panglabas at iba pa?

2. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na dito na sa Pilipinas ipagpatuloy ang peace talks imbes na sa ibang bansa at gawing hayagan at partisipatibo ang proseso nito para makalahok ang lahat ng sektor ng Sambayanang Filipino at ang mga mambabatas natin sa pagbalangkas, pagpapa-apruba at pagpapatupad ng mga kasunduan?

3. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na amyendahan na sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga probisyon ng konstitusyon at mga batas na balakid at hadlang sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga kasunduan at mapagkakasunduan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo?

— The memorandum, signed by Briones, also directed several “peace activities” and created a body between DepEd and Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Bayan, a private organization with a campaign for the above positions.

— The solon noted that the questions, which are asked of students in Grades 4 to 11, are obviously leading, misleading and miseducating, and will be used to legitimize the organization’s positions.  “Kailangan nating isapubliko ang ating posisyon na ang ganitong mga issuance ay dapat ibasura.”

— The Secretary said that they are not aware of the memorandum but promised to remove it “if it exists.”  (see attached screenshot below)

peace memo survey

Comments are closed.