Kidapawan mayor bans collection of any fees in public schools

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 28 June) – The city mayor here issued an executive order prohibiting all public schools from collecting any amount for whatever purpose, even if the contribution is voluntary.

The order, issued by Mayor Joseph Evangelista on Wednesday, was announced by lawyer Christopher Cabilen, legal counsel of the city government, in his Facebook page, noting that it will be implemented strictly.

All public schools were furnished copies of the order, according to Cabilen.

“Those who may be found violating the order shall be dealt with accordingly,” he stressed.

He explained that any complaint as regards violation of the order may be lodged to the city legal office or directly to the Office of the City Mayor.

Cabilen said the EO showed how serious the mayor is in implementing a standing memorandum from the Department of Education prohibiting collections.

Besides, he said, there are other features in the EO in relation to the Special Education Fund (SEF), where the local government gets its educational subsidy to all public schools in the city.

Since 2014, the City Government has allotted millions of pesos from its SEF amount for the subsidy.

In 2014, it allocated P100 to each student. In 2015, an additional P100 was allotted. And since 2016, it has increased to P300.

For school year 2017-2018, the city government appropriated P13 million from its SEF as subsidy to about 14,000 students from public schools.

‘Voluntary’ contributions

Anton Maganto, spokesperson for the Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12, clarified that while they implement the zero collection policy in all public schools, they allowed collections of fees that are not mandatory and thus “voluntary” in nature.

He said DepEd allows collection of fees for the Red Cross, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts.

Maganto, in a radio interview on Wednesday, said DepEd 12 has also given the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) the go signal to collect from parents, guardians, and students any contribution for PTA projects as long as the association, after holding a general assembly, agreed to it.

“Although we are provided Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) for our teachers and schools, this is not enough. The PTA serves as a support system of DepEd,” he said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)