Sunday, June 10, 2007

DepEd files charges against Lucena City principal

The Department of Education (DepEd) Oplan Balik Eskwela Command Center
today announced that formal charges have been filed against a high
school principal in Lucena City for violation of department procedures
and grave misconduct during the opening of the school year.

According to the formal charge, the principal set up variations in
enrollment procedures that discriminate between those who can and
those who cannot make contributions. He also authorized the collection
of various fees, including a Handbook Fee, an Athletic Fee and a
Testing Fee for Entrance Examinations in Special Programs in English,
Science and Math, all of which are not authorized by the department.
He authorized the collection of a 25-peso ID Card Fee, which is above
the allowable amount by DepEd Order No. 3 (s. 2004).

In violation of DepEd Order No. 22 (s. 2005), the said principal did
not subscribe to the requirement to post announcements. He also
violated DepEd procedures by requiring students to produce a copy of
the Community Tax Certificate of their parents or guardians prior to

"We are serious about our guidelines on illegal collections," DepEd
Secretary Jesli Lapus said. "We will not allow a few bad eggs ruin the
reputation of the thousands of public school teachers and officials
who have been diligent in their efforts to provide free basic
education to our children."

"Our Legal Division will make sure that all irregularities in the
field are looked into," Lapus added. "And we encourage the public to
provide us with the information needed to file cases on erring

On May 25, 2007, an investigating committee was sent to Lucena to
conduct a fact-finding investigation on the basis of complaints
through phone calls and text messages. Subsequently, the department
received a joint complaint-affidavit relative to the alleged series of
violations committed by the said principal, prompting the Office of
the Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs to establish a
prima facie case that eventually led to the filing of formal charges.

In compliance with the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers
(Republic Act 4670), the department is withholding the name of the
principal until the case has been resolved.

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