/ 23 February 2021

ACT TEACHERS Partylist Rep. France Castro slammed the Department of Education for helping the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict instead of preparing for the next school year.

“The NTF-ELCAC has done nothing but to terrorize, criminalize and demonize legal organizations and innocent individuals who have been vocal in criticizing the lapses and failures of the Duterte administration to its people,” Castro said.

“At this time when the blended distance learning of the Department of Education has failed the youth and its teachers, it should focus all its time and resources in planning and ensuring that the next school year would be more effective for teachers and students. Helping the red-tagging task force should have no place in the Department of Education,” she added.

Castro said that schools should be havens for ideas, learning and critical thinking.

DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua recently released a memorandum instructing all units to name nine representatives to the ELCAC per DepEd region and division. These personnel will attend the regional meetings of ELCAC task forces.

“The NTF-ELCAC has been rampant in spreading erroneous information, spewing baseless lies, indiscriminately red-tagging, inviting harm to people and declaring war against dissent. It continues to tag legal and legitimate organizations such as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Philippines and its teachers’ unions as front organizations of the CPP-NPA without presenting even an ounce of evidence,” Castro said.

The lawmaker called on the Education department to “exhaust all its time, resources and efforts to set up the policies, facilities and equip teachers and students for the face to face classes amid the Covid19 pandemic.”