The school year-end is quite near. Yet, most parents with kids in public schools are, perhaps, reluctant to feel any celebration. Exorbitant school fees from left and right need to fix. Dues and bills need some help; other expenses may need some rescheduling. The Department of Education or DepEd reminded public schools heads or personnel that:
failure to settle voluntary school contributions shall not be used as a basis for non-admission, non-promotion, or non-issuance of clearance to a student and withholding of report cards.
What are those called voluntary school contributions or fees?
Per DepEd Memorandum No. 143 dated September 2016 (click this link to read the DepEd memo 143 s. 2016), thus, “…the following membership fees and contributions may be collected on a voluntary basis“:
- Boy Scouts of the Philippines membership fee (Php50.00)
- Girl Scouts of the Philippines membership fee (Php50.00)
- Philippine National Red Cross (Php50.00)
- Anti-TB Fund Drive (Php5.00)
- Parents-Teachers Association or PTAs (REASONABLE AMOUNT to be determined by the PTAs General Assembly)
- School Publication (Php60.00)
- Membership in Pupil/Student Organizations (To be set by the organization subject to existing school policies on student organizations)
These voluntary contributions are not meant to be collected mandatory or as a requirement. However, some public schools circumvented this DepEd order by using the decision of the PTAs to oblige the parents to pay these voluntary contributions that failure to do so may lead to a withholding of pupils’ clearances and report cards.
Also, the collection of a Maintenance Fee is outright abusive since it is funded by the MOOE or Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses which can be released in cash advance to schools. Other public schools with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment or materials are too dumb to bastardize the public funded equipment by collecting fees regularly from parents. Others are too mendicant to source out funds from parents to finance teachers seminars and other outside school activities. They make parents their milking cows!
The DepEd reiterates that:
An exorbitant amount for the PTA contribution must be avoided. This contribution may only be collected after the PTA presents to their members and to the school head/principal a report on the utilization of the previous school year’s collections and their proposed budget with program of activities.
Even collecting contributions or fees for school activities, etc. in all public schools is prohibited according to the Department of Education. Should collections are allowed under any school policy it must remain voluntary, that is, not obligatory in nature. Even graduation fees and other fees considered exorbitant are strictly discouraged by the DepEd. That is to fulfill the mandates of public schools to at all times accessible rather than a burden.
The DepEd through its action center encourages parents and concerns to report all circumventions or violations of the said DepEd orders.
Eliminating corruption must begin at school. Let’s help our school corruption-free! Talk, mobilize, and stand up to expose any form of #CorruptionsInPublicSchools!
(Source: DepEd orders and memos)