DepEd-Davao releases new guidelines on physical exam

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 February)– The Department of Education (DepEd) revealed Friday the revised guidelines of the City Health Office’s (CHO) requirements for the annual physical exam of teachers and non-teaching staff, making it no longer mandatory for the staff to take drug and neurological tests.

In an interview, DepEd administrator Gerald Pil said the CHO had written the DepEd a memorandum as early as February 12.

The memorandum, signed by CHO chief Josephine Villafuerte, said the teachers and staff of the DepEd can be accommodated by the health office, following three different guidelines, including clearer instructions on the mandatory drug and neurological tests.

The teachers and non-teaching staff will only be required to take drug and neurological tests upon the recommendation of the physician handling the employee’s physical exam.

For the annual physical exam, the DepEd employees are only required to have blood tests, urinalysis, fecalysis and chest x-ray.

The teachers being reinstated will be required similar tests, minus the chest x-ray.

Pil said it has always been the CHO that required the mandatory tests.

The CHO was tapped by the DepEd as its de facto medical office, absent an in-house medical officer.

Villafuerte, in a previous interview, clarified that she saw nothing wrong with the requirement, as they were abiding by a Civil Service Commission memorandum requiring government officials to be tested.

Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers were scheduled to protest last Friday the memorandum signed by Schools Division Superintendent Helen Paguican, who originally required the test for the teachers.

However, Pil said that there were also other issues the teachers have been protesting.

Locally, the teachers here have complained about the biometrics unit the teachers were using for logging in to work.

“I think that it is high time that we review the biometrics system,” Pil said. “It has been three years since we first implemented the biometrics.”

The teachers’ organization has been asking also for a wage hike of P25,000, citing the rising cost of living and other factors.

There are around 8,000 teachers in the Davao City division. (MindaNews)