Teachers ‘concerned’ with new DepEd order

SOME public school teachers in Cebu expressed concern over a new order issued by the Department of Education (DepEd) that mandates its personnel, especially teachers, to practice professionalism.

Antonia Lim, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Cebu chapter president, told SunStar Cebu that DepEd Order 49 series of 2022 could penalize public school teachers for reporting their colleagues’ anomalies.

Lim said the order also prevents teachers from voicing their opinions regarding wrongdoings being done against their colleagues.

Thelma, a public school teacher working in Cebu Province who refused to give her real name for security purposes, told SunStar Cebu that while she supports the new order, she hopes the agency will also address their grievances fairly.

“Wala man gyud koy problema ana nga order. Good soldier man ta, dili gyud na problema. Ang naka-apan lang gud kay kung naa miy grievances ilabi na sa working conditions, ma-address ba kaha nila?” Thelma added.

(I have no problem when it comes to that order. I am a good soldier, I have no problem with it. My issue is if we have a grievance concerning our working conditions, can DepEd address it?)

Avoid posting grievances on social media

Under DepEd Order 49, the agency defined “acceptable” norms of conduct and relationships in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 6713, also known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

It urged its officials and employees to avoid relationships, interactions and communication, including following social media, with students outside of the school setting unless they are relatives.

It also reminded DepEd personnel to exercise caution when sharing posts and other content on social media and to not participate in spreading rumors and fake news. It also told personnel not to disparage DepEd and must always be mindful of the reputation and honor of the organization.

The order reminds DepEd officials not to post online attacks against fellow DepEd personnel, noting that they must use legal and human resource mediation processes.

The agency also reminded its officials and employees to treat and approach each other as well as other stakeholders and students with the “highest degree” of professionalism, skill and excellence; respect the rights of others; and refrain from doing any act that is contrary to law, good morals, good customs and public policy, order, safety and interest.

It said DepEd officials and employees should serve and perform their duties and responsibilities in a “prompt, courteous and fair manner.”

“Refrain from engaging in any activity or any relationship that may impair one’s ability in making objective decisions in the performance of his/her job functions,” the order reads.

“Desist from any act that may compromise one’s integrity as a government employee and that may compromise the honor of DepEd,” it added.

The education department also reminded its personnel to avoid practices that promote partisan activities. (HIC, JKV, TPM / SunStar Philippines)