DO 108, s. 1987 – Religious Instruction by Designated Teacher of the Religious Denomination Concerned
To: Regional Directors
- The 1986 Constitution provides for religious instruction of students in public elementary and high schools within the regular class hours, at the option expressed in writing, by the parents or guardians, without additional cost to the government (Sec. 3, Article XIV).
- Religious instructors shall be designated by the religious authorities to which the children or wards belong.
- Public school teachers are prohibited from giving religious instruction. This prohibition is embodied in Opinion No. 208, s. 1950 of the Department of Justice, quoting therein the provisions of the Revised Administrative Code as amended, particularly the following:
“SEC. 927. Discussion of religious doctrines to be eschewed. – No teacher or other persons engaged in any public school whether maintained from (insular) national, provincial, or municipal fund, shall teach or criticize the doctrine of any church, religious sector, or denomination, or shall attempt to influence the pupils for or against any church or religious sect. If any teacher shall intentionally violate this section he or she shall, after due hearing, be dismissed from the public service.””SEC. 928. Provision for religious instruction by local priest or minister. – It shall be lawful, however, for the priest or minister of any church to establish in the town where a public school is situated, either in person or by a designated teacher of religion, to teach religion for one-half hour three times a week, in the school building, to those public-school pupils whose parents or guardians desire it and express their desire therefore in writing filed with the principal teacher of the school, to be forwarded to the division superintendent, who shall fix the hours and room for such teaching. But no public school teachers shall either conduct religious exercises or teach religion or act as a designated religious teacher in the school building under the foregoing authority, and no pupils shall be required by any public school teacher to attend and receive the religious instruction herein permitted. Should the opportunity thus given to teach religion be used by the priest, minister, religious teacher for the purpose of arousing disloyalty to …. or of discouraging the attendance of pupils at such public school, or creating a disturbance of public order, or of interfering with the discipline of the school, the division superintendent, subject to the approval of the Director of Education, may, after due investigation and hearing, forbid such offending priest, minister, or religious teacher from entering the public school building thereafter.”
- It is desired that this Order be immediately disseminated to all concerned.
(SGD) ADRIANO A. ARCELO
DECS Order: No. 39, s. 1987
Allotment: 1-2—(M.O. 1-87)
To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects:
BUREAUS AND OFFICES
RULES AND REGULATIONS