PASAY CITY, January 25, 2019– To discuss pressing topics concerning the organization, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted the 1st General Assembly of 3rd Level Officials on January 22 at the One Esplanade, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
Attended by around 700 DepEd 3rd level officials including the Executive Committee members, Central Office Directors, Regional and Assistant Regional Directors, and Schools Division Superintendents and Assistant Schools Division Superintendents, the event covered the Data Privacy Act, election-related matters, policies on transfer and movement of officials/personnel, and updates on the Department’s budget.
Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito Umali reminded all attendees to always keep in mind the Data Privacy Act of 2012 when handling personal data and information processed in and by the agency.
“After this session, I hope that you will talk to your proper personnel or official kung sino ba talaga dapat ang may access sa data ng mga bata at mga guro. Hindi pwedeng kahit sino lamang,” Umali said.
“Halimbawa, mayroong isang nagpapautang at gustong kuhanin ‘yung impormasyon ng ating mga guro, mali na ibibigay na lang natin basta-basta. Kailangan maunawaan natin na lahat ng ito ay mga seryosong paglabag sa batas na may kaakibat na seryosong parusa kapag napatunayang lumabag dito,” he elaborated further.
Umali also highlighted that the Data Privacy Act is not only in the context of protecting learners’ information, but is also in line with the basic mandate of the Department to protect and promote the interest and welfare of the Filipino children.
Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 was enacted to protect one’s fundamental right to privacy of communication while ensuring free flow of information in order to promote innovation and growth.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized anew that no officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign–as stated under the Article IX –B, Section 2(4) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Briones likewise reiterated the prohibitions of electioneering and partisan political activity among all employees in the government, particularly DepEd teachers and personnel, and underscored the repercussions if these were violated. The prohibitions are enclosed in DepEd Order No. 48, series of 2018.
“All DepEd employees should be aware of what the law says and what the Civil Service Commission (CSC) prohibits. The Constitution is also very clear when it comes to partisan political activities; we just have to remind them,” the Education chief said.
Furthermore, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Josephine Maribojoc expressed the importance of taking these rules and prohibitions seriously: “Mahalaga na mismong sa field ay magkaroon na ng ganitong kamalayan–lalo na ‘yung mga leader o ‘yung mga pinuno–para sila mismo ay maging halimbawa sa kanilang mga kawani na seryoso sila dito sa prohibitions on electioneering and partisan political activity.”
Undersecretary Alain Pascua discussed the Department’s preparation for the upcoming elections. Usec. Annalyn Sevilla gave updates and instruction on the budget, while Usec. Jesus Mateo with ASec. Revsee Escobedo tackled the policy on transfers and assignments.