June 16, 2020 – We have received an incident report involving a breach of minimum health standards and social distancing protocols in DepEd Region V. According to the report filed, the incident happened at Brgy. Dogongan, Daet, Camarines Norte last June 11, 2020. We take this matter seriously and will have a firm and rectifying action to prevent further breach in the future.

We have started our fact-finding investigation through a Division Investigation Committee (DIC) formed by DepEd Region V. We have also asked the person involved in the breach to submit a written explanation while the local DepEd COVID-19 Task Force will actively monitor the health of the learners concerned through the regional office.

We have coordinated the case with the Barangay Health Response and Emergency Team (BHRET) and the local government unit in conducting initial precautionary measures and in resolving the incident at the soonest possible time.

We would like to reiterate that graduation and moving up rites that require face-to-face interaction are postponed until further notice. Schools and community learning centers are highly encouraged to conduct virtual rites and other alternative non face-to-face activities to celebrate the end of the school year. For schools that have yet to conduct the end of school year rites, school heads must submit to the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) for approval their proposed process for e-graduation rites (including logistics) before conducting the event.

Meanwhile, activities that may require face-to-face interaction and allowed through DepEd and IATF guidelines may be conducted only if the necessary health and safety precautions are strictly complied with, subject to the guidelines set for the community quarantine classification of the locality.

We in DepEd are committed to protect the safety and health of our learners, teachers, and parents. We will continue conducting seminars for our teachers and stakeholders on preventive and precautionary measures to be observed in DepEd schools and offices, so we can be sure that these are internalized and properly understood, and to emphasize everyone’s role in this public health concern.

We direct all our units, and appeal to the public, to always observe the minimum health standards and social distancing protocols to minimize the risk of exposure and mitigate the spread of the disease. The fight against COVID-19 continues and we should not let our guards down.