The Department of Education – DepEd – has bolstered the government’s vaccination program and urged stakeholders to work together. | 25th of June, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) provided Comprehensive Guidance on DepEd’s Participation in the Implementation of the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for COVID-19 vaccines in support of the government’s vaccination initiative.

The Department of Education laid forth its principles and rules in DepEd Memorandum 028, s. 2021, to ensure that the national government and its workers receive the required support.

“We will be able to limit the impacts of COVID-19 thanks to the immunization program. To defeat this pandemic, we need our teachers, parents, and everyone to join us. As the government’s largest bureaucracy, DepEd is committed to assisting our immunization teams in meeting their goals, according to Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.

According to the issuance, all DepEd engagement at all levels of government must be in compliance with Republic Act 11525, also known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, the NDVP, and other relevant issuances. The Department will also continue to conduct stakeholder discussions and surveys, with the results being used to contextualize the NDVP’s implementation.

Meanwhile, Sec. Briones stressed the need of ensuring the protection and safety of DepEd staff while supporting the vaccination program.

“Our DepEd personnel’s safety is our top priority, and our strategy is for them to focus on demand development and communication activities,” Briones explained.

Any other involvement of workers in local vaccination programs beyond the scope of their employment in the Department, such as participation in vaccination teams, counseling, and psychosocial support activities, will be voluntary, according to the Department.

The Memo further stated that the NTF must provide DepEd volunteers with suitable training, personal safety equipment (PPE), sanitation supplies, and appropriate remuneration or allowances via the LGUs.

In line with this, Dr. Maria Corazon Dumlao, Chief of the Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division (BLSS-SHD), stated that DepEd school health and nutrition personnel can participate in local vaccination initiatives and represent the Department in Vaccination Operations Centers (VOCs), while teaching personnel can incorporate vaccination promotion into their lessons and volunteer as health educators.

DepEd employees’ voluntary engagement must not jeopardize their jobs, and their participation must be approved by their separate heads of offices via a formal endorsement to the LGU.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has given Regional Directors the authority to approve or deny requests from LGUs to use DepEd schools for COVID-19 outbreak-related activities, in accordance with the OM-OSEC-2020-002 titled Use of DepEd Classrooms and Other Facilities as Vaccination Centers.

Director of the Bureau of Labor and Social Security (BLSS), Lope B. Santos III, stated that the Department is dedicated to assisting the national government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tayo sa Kagawaran, tuloy-tuloy ang pagsuporta at paggawa natin ng paraan para maisulong itong NDVP, tuloy-tuloy ang pagsuporta at paggawa natin ng paraan para maisulong itong NDVP, tuloy-tuloy ang pagsuporta at paggawa “Kung kinakailangan ng tulong natin ay bibigay natin ito, nakikita natin na malaki ang gampanin ng DepEd, lalo na’t tayo ang greatest government bureaucracy,” Dir. Lope added.

Last May, the Department launched Vacc2School: Ligtas na Bakuna para sa Balik-Eskwela, a campaign to encourage educated COVID-19 vaccination decisions. In field offices connected with the effort, the Department of Education has held town halls and webinars. Related materials are also included in the Department’s multimedia platforms.

Read the full DM here: https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/DM_s2021_028-1.pdf

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