March 24, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office would like to clarify that it had no prior approval of any face-to-face activities related to In-Service Training (INSET) and other seminars for teachers. The Department strictly adheres to the guidelines and required health protocols on work and office arrangements set by the IATF, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

In this line, we are investigating the alleged transmission and exposure of personnel of SDO Zambales to COVID-19 during a division-initiated training last March 2-6, 2021. Appropriate disciplinary actions for authorities who breached protocols will be taken once the investigation is finalized.

Meanwhile, we are closely monitoring our teachers who were unfortunately exposed to the virus. We have also coordinated with the concerned field offices to provide medical assistance and psychosocial support for them.

We enjoin our field offices to exercise prudence and observe existing alternative work arrangements and protocols of CSC and DepEd, including prohibiting large physical gatherings, to avoid similar incidents. In our continuous fight against the threat of COVID-19, we should remain vigilant in our actions to protect our learners, teachers, and loved ones.