DepEd defends profiling of teachers’ groups
The Department of Education (DepEd) defended its directive to identify the membership details of two teachers’ organizations, saying it is a standard and legitimate requirement, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a Palace briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said organizations that deal with the agency must comply with the standard requirements, including the submission of names of officers and members.
"These are standard, hindi naman illegitimate itong mga organisasyon na ito (these organizations are not illegitimate), they are perfectly legitimate and therefore they are perfectly required by law to submit what is usefully required of legitimate organizations which deal with the government," Briones said.
Briones added that the teachers’ groups collect membership fees “which we collect for these particular organizations.”
“So, we have to know the names of the members in order for us to deduct membership fees,” she added.
Briones made the statement in reaction to criticisms from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), which condemned the profiling directive for local DepEd officials to identify the members of their groups.
Briones said there is nothing irregular about the directive, as she allayed concerns that such action may lead to the harassment of teachers.
"We don’t harass. Everything, any action that we have undertaken is always covered by law, because that is my training. We are a government of laws. Organizations which deal with the DepEd of course have to comply with the requirements," she said.
DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the agency would safeguard the teachers’ personal information.
“We have a data protection officer in the Department of Education and so any disclosure or sharing of this information complies with Data Protection. So, there is no individual profiling that the Department is doing outside of the required submission of information,” Malaluan said.
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