February 7, 2022 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones cited the good collaboration of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in implementing the guidelines of limited face-to-face classes and vaccination.

And with the expansion phase of face-to-face classes set to start this month, Secretary Briones said DepEd is continuously adopting its shared responsibility framework by working with DOH and DILG. The collaboration aims to ensure that policies to protect education stakeholders are streamlined among the three agencies.

“The program for face-to-face classes which the President already delegated to us is a responsibility of three main agencies with DepEd as the main implementing agency. Then we have the Department of Health as our partner on health issues and risk assessment reports,” Secretary Briones noted.

Secretary Briones also said that DILG is also a key stakeholder for the progressive expansion since face-to-face classes cannot commence in the areas declared as Level 1&2 and without the consent of local government units.

“We have also invited Department of Interior and Local Government. I believe we should not implement any policy in any region or any locality without their participation, without the consent of local governments,” she noted.

Last Wednesday, the Education Chief authorized all regional directors to commence the progressive expansion phase of face-to-face classes for both public and private schools. Based on the risk assessment report of DOH for February 1 to 15, 2022, a total of 304 public schools are in Alert Level 2 Areas, including 118 schools in NCR cities; 12 in Batanes; 106 in Bulacan; 33 in Cavite; 21 in Rizal; 5 in Biliran, and 9 in Southern Leyte.

The Education Chief emphasized that the working arrangement with DOH is also important on the vaccination program of the government.

“Between DepEd and DOH, DepEd is responsible for matters of policy development, information campaigns, capacity buildings, and actual learning delivery. On matters of health issues, it is the DOH which is responsible,” Briones noted.

In addition, Briones reiterated that DepEd also complies with national policies followed by all public institutions, including guidelines on unvaccinated individuals.