/ 26 June 2021

THE DEPARTMENT of Education has issued its comprehensive guidance on its participation in the implementation of the government’s vaccination program.

Memorandum 028, s. 2021 laid out the department’s principles and guidelines to ensure the provision of the necessary support for the national government and its personnel.

“The vaccination program will help us mitigate the effects of Covid19. We need our teachers, our parents, and everyone to join us to overcome this pandemic. DepEd, as the government’s largest bureaucracy, is dedicated to help our vaccination teams achieve our targets,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

Any engagement of DepEd across all governance levels must be aligned with Republic Act 11525 or the Covid19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, the NDVP, and other related issuances. The department will also continue consultations and surveys among stakeholders.

Briones said that DepEd personnel must be assured of their protection and safety in the exercise of supporting the vaccination program.

“The safety of our DepEd personnel is our utmost priority, and our policy is that they focus on supporting demand generation and communication activities,” she noted.

The DepEd reiterated that any other involvement of its personnel in the local vaccination initiatives beyond the scope of their work in the department, including their participation in vaccination teams, counseling, and psychosocial support efforts, shall be voluntary.

DepEd volunteers must be given proper training, personal protective equipment, sanitation resources, and applicable remuneration or allowances by the NTF, through the local government units.

In line with this, Dr. Maria Corazon Dumlao, Chief of the Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division, noted that DepEd school health and nutrition personnel may take part in local vaccination initiatives and represent the department in the Vaccination Operations Centers, while teaching personnel can incorporate vaccination promotion in their lessons and volunteer as health educators or documenters.

On the use of schools as vaccination centers, the responsibility to approve or deny requests of local government units will  lie with regional directors.

BLSS Director Lope Santos III emphasized that the department is committed to helping the national government in the fight against the Covid19 pandemic.

“Tayo sa Kagawaran, tuloy-tuloy ang pagsuporta at paggawa natin ng paraan para maisulong itong NDVP. Nakikita natin na malaki ang gampanin ng DepEd lalo na’t tayo ang largest government bureaucracy, kaya kung kinakailangan ng tulong natin ay bibigay natin ito,” Lope said.