The Department for Education Central Office in Pasig City. | Photo from DepEd

All Christmas party contributions or exchange gifts must be “strictly voluntary” for learners and teachers in schools, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Vice President Sara Duterte, who signed Department Order (DO) 52, said no one should be forced to pay any expenditure related to the celebration.

“All Christmas parties, themes, costumes, decoration, and exchange gifts are voluntary. No learner or DepEd personnel should be forced to contribute, participate, or use their money for the celebration,” said Duterte, who is also concurrent Education secretary.

The DepEd also said Christmas parties should not burden parents or participating learners.

“Celebrations in schools and in DepEd offices, as far as practicable, should be simple yet meaningful. Christmas party themes should not result in expenses that will become a burden on parents, students, and DepEd personnel,” it said.

The DepEd said contributions, both in cash or in kind, must remain optional and should not be a basis of learners’ participation.

“No learner shall be excluded from joining the Christmas celebration by reason of their failure to give the voluntary contribution or absence of a prepared gift,” it said.

The DepEd also warned teachers and other DepEd personnel against solicitations.

“DepEd personnel should be reminded that solicitations, whether in cash or in kind, are not allowed for Christmas parties or holiday celebrations,” it added. (PNA)

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