January 13, 2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd) has been recognized as one of the top-requested and top-performing agencies in frontline service through its electronic Freedom of Information (e-FOI) Portal during the 2021 FOI Awards.

“We acknowledged that the right to information is constitutional, and the Department is making sure that the free exchange of information is unhindered and accessible to every Filipino citizen through the implementation of Freedom of Information. This initiative further the policies and programs of DepEd as our stakeholders proactively help us with interpret data and information,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

The said award was given to the government agencies and organizations with exceptional and significant contributions to the progress and development of the FOI program and to those who received 1000 and above requests with at least 90% closed transactions.

Meanwhile, Ms. Beverly G. Berame, the Department’s FOI Receiving Officer and head of the Public Assistance Action Center, received the FOI Capacity-Building Queen Award during the FOI Program Director’s Award.

In 2021, the Department issued DepEd Order No. 19, s. 2021 or the Revised Department of Education People’s Freedom of Information Manual and Implementing Details, designed to establish standard procedures and provide guidelines to the central, regional, school division offices, and schools in attending to and fulfilling the requests for information of any Filipino citizen.

The revision of the People’s FOI Manual was based on the outcomes of FOI workshops in 2018 and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Innotech in 2019. It sought to standardize the FOI workflows in the various levels in the governance of the DepEd and to harmonize the provisions of the Manual with the Republic Act (RA) 11032 titled Ease of Doing Business Act and RA 10173 titled Data Privacy Act, and other various improvements.

“The establishment of standard procedures per respective governance level enables uniformity in monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. It enables easier identification of areas of improvement and to further improve our workflows in the implementation of FOI,” the Education Chief said.

For the steps and guidelines about the Department’s Freedom of Information Program go to: https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FOI-Info-Program.pdf.