A week-long training for Department of Education (DepEd) Legal Officers was held last January 18 to 22, 2016 at the Ecotech Center, Lahug, Cebu City. This is the 2nd Batch with Regions III, V, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), XII and XIII (CARAGA) as participants. Participants from DepEd CARAGA Region were Atty. Jose Guibone (Regional Legal Officer), Engr. Peter Al Fudalan (Special Investigator III), Jason Paul Magarin (Legal Assistant II), Joyce Ann Adlawan (Legal Officer of Butuan City Division), Al Dangate (Legal Officer of Agusan del Norte Division), Atty. Carlito Ranoco (Legal Officer of Agusan del Sur Division), Atty. Richard Dano (Legal Officer of Surigao del Norte Division), Atty. Joseph Lumactod (Legal Officer of Surigao del Sur Division), Ritchel Sultan Catani (Legal Officer of Dinagat Islands Division) and Rionald Gonzales (Legal Officer of Siargao Division). In view of the Rationalization Program of DepEd, there is a need to train the legal officers in the central and different field offices of the Department considering that a number of these legal officers are newly appointed. Pursuant to DepEd Memorandum No. 134, s. 2015, the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Officers spearheaded the aforesaid training. Dr. Juliet Jeruta (OIC-Regional Director, DepEd Region VII) gave her welcome remarks and it was followed by a Sinulog Dance presentation by DepEd Region VII personnel. The training aimed to further improve the participants knowledge and application of laws relative to the attainment of the Mission and Vision of DepEd. Day 1 of the training, the participants were given an overview of the Department’s Organizational Structure in view of the Rationalization Plan, Laws on Basic Education and Basics of Administrative Law. Day 2 focused on DepEd Order No. 49, s. 2006 (Administrative Procedure), DepEd Order No. 35, s. 2004 (Grievance Machinery), DepEd Order No. 15, s. 2012 (Alternative Dispute Resolution), Civil Service Law, RRACS (Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service) and Investigation Strategies and Techniques in the conduct of Investigation in Administrative Proceedings (Disciplinary and Non-Disciplinary Cases). On Day 3, discussion was on The Child Protection and Anti-Bullying Laws, DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012 (Child Protection Policy), Graft and Corruption Law, Code of Ethics, Procurement Laws and Procedure. On Day 4, topics that were taken up were School Sites Titling, DepEd Order No. 88, s. 2010 (Regulation of Private Schools), Legal Research and Legal Writing. The last day of the training was dedicated to a lengthy discussion of proposed amendment to DepEd Order No. 49, s. 2006 (Administrative Procedure). At the end of every topic discussed, workshops were conducted. Atty. Josephine Maribojoc (Director IV of DepEd Legal Services) and Atty. Alberto T. Muyot (DepEd Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs) discussed most of the topics and answered inquiries from participants during open forums after every topic discussed. The training improved the participants’ skills on investigation, prosecution, conciliation, mediation, legal research and legal writing. It helped the participants to exhibit awareness of and abide by rules of ethics/conduct for government employees and lawyers.

By: Dr. Adrilene Mae J. Castaños