Bans gift solicitations, reminds schools/DepEd offices of hard times
Christmas celebrations in public schools and offices of the Department of Education “should be simple yet meaningful, keeping in mind the true spirit of the season and the austerity called for by the difficult economic times,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a recent order.
This was as the DepEd issued guidelines on Dec. 2 for the conduct of Christmas parties in its offices and public schools, as Filipinos mark the Yuletide season with the loosest restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public schools are set to take their Christmas break on Dec. 19, and resume classes on Jan. 4, 2023, giving teachers and students a little over two weeks to get their traditional yearend parties in.
Private schools, community learning centers, and state or local universities and colleges may choose to adopt the DepEd’s guidelines on Christmas parties, according to the agency.
Last month, public schools nationwide returned to five days of face-to-face classes at full capacity, following two years of closures due to the health crisis.
According to the order, Christmas parties must be voluntary and “not result to expenses that will become a burden on parents, students and DepEd personnel.”
“No learner or DepEd personnel should be forced to contribute, participate or use their money for the celebration,” it said.
No student should also be excluded from joining Christmas parties because they failed to give a contribution or gift, the agency added.
Old Christmas decorations “should be recycled. [The] purchase of new decors are not encouraged,” the DepEd said
Christmas parties can be organized within class hours as long as they do not interfere with the scheduled lesson plans, the department said.
The department also reminded personnel that “solicitations, whether in cash or in kind, are not allowed for Christmas parties or holiday celebrations.”