GENERAL SANTOS CITY, July 7, 2018 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reminded all DepEd officials and personnel to bring additional knowledge and insights from their official foreign travels that are essential in developing meaningful and useful programs for the Department.

“Be sure that you don’t only bring back your memorabilia or souvenirs, but also additional knowledge and insights on how we can better serve our learners,” Briones stated.

The Secretary also underscored the importance of securing the necessary travel clearance and documents for both official and personal foreign travels in compliance with the DepEd Memorandum No. 8, series of 2018, or the Dissemination of Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated 03 January 2018 (Directives Applying to Foreign Travels of All Government Officials and Personnel in the Executive Department): “You are expected to seek the approval of the head of the agency whenever you travel abroad, whether it is official or personal.”

“For official foreign travels, it is very important to state why you are travelling, its benefits to the organization, and the financial obligation especially when it involves official funds. And when you return, you are supposed to submit a report on the result of your activities,” she added.

The Education chief highlighted these during the Mindanao leg of the Forum on International Partnerships and Commitments in Basic Education held on May 30 at the Sun City Suites in General Santos City, spearheaded by the DepEd-International Cooperation Office (ICO). The Luzon and Visayas clusters of the forum were held in Baguio City on June 7 and in Iloilo City on June 25, respectively.

The event aimed to introduce international commitments and partnerships; discuss the general guidelines on the protocol for travels abroad; provide avenue to discuss concerns on international partnership-building; and introduce the ICO and its services.

Moreover, Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, DepEd-ICO Director Margarita Ballesteros, and representatives from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared valuable knowledge to the participants.