/ 20 April 2021

The Department of Education defended its directive to identify members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Teachers’ Dignity Coalition.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the two organizations must comply with the department’s standard requirements, including the submission of names of officers and members.

“Hindi naman illegitimate itong mga organisasyon na ito, they are perfectly legitimate and therefore they are perfectly required by law to submit what is usefully required of legitimate organizations which deal with the government,” Briones said.

Earlier this week, ACT and TDC condemned the ‘profiling’ directive,  saying that DepEd violated their constitutional rights when it conducted an online survey entitled “Data on the Number of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition and Alliance of Concerned Teachers” meant to profile teachers.

The groups said the survey required teachers to disclose if they were members of ACT, TDC or both.

However, Briones said there is nothing irregular about the directive, stressing that the department does not intend to harass its members.

“The department collects certain fees from members of teachers’ groups. So, we have to know the names of the members in order for us to deduct membership fees,” she said.

“We don’t harass. Everything, any action that we have undertaken is always covered by the law because that is my training. We are a government of laws. Organizations which deal with the DepEd, of course, have to comply with the requirements,” she added.

Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan gave assurances that the department will protect the teachers’ personal information.

“We have a data protection officer in the DepEd and so 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 info