Despite issuing a directive which aims to find out how many members of the Alliance of Concerned Teacher (ACT) Philippines and Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) are there within the agency, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured that no individual profiling will be undertaken.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, during the press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, April 19, explained the directive issued to local officials to list down who are the members of the groups.
“We would like to assure organizations and teachers within the Department of Education na walang ginagawang (there is no) individual profiling ang Department of Education,” said Malaluan.
“Ang kanilang mga (Their) individual data and information are all part of the official records that we keep in relation to their employment with the Department of Education),” Malaluan added.
Over the weekend, teachers’ groups expressed alarm on the directive from the DepEd Central Office asking field officials to list down the members of their group via electronic or online survey.
However, Malaluan allayed the fears of groups – noting that DepEd, for example, keeps a Personal Data Sheet of their employees.
“We keep all of our teachers, personnel, and officials are part of the requirements for their qualifications, their assignments as well as their career progression,” Malaluan explained.
Malaluan also assured that DepEd safeguards this information because it has a data protection officer – thus, any disclosure or sharing of this information complies with Data Protection. “So there is no individual profiling that the Department is doing outside of the required submission of information,” he added.
For TDC and ACT, DepEd’s move is a misplaced priority because instead of “addressing” the concerns of learners, parents, and teachers under the implementation of distance learning this school year, it focuses its attention on “profiling” their members.
As to the objective of their survey, Malaluan said that DepEd also has “an interest to know” the membership and the number of ACT and TDC.
“In terms of the number of the membership of the different organizations, because we also need to know how representative they are of what they claim to represent and as part of, example, processes such as negotiation or the collective negotiation with any of these representative organizations,” he added.
In the same briefing, Briones maintained that the directive of DepEd to find out who are the members of these two groups complies with the “standard.”
Briones said that there currently 11 major organizations of teaching and non-teaching personnel in DepEd. “Furthermore, itong mga organisasyon na ito nagko-collect (these organizations collect) ng membership fees which we collect for this particular organizations. So kailangan malaman namin iyong mga miyembro kung saan dine-deduct namin iyong kanilang mga membership fees (So we really need to know their members whom we deduct these memberships from),” she ended.