DepEd says no prior approval of face-to-face seminar in Zambales
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Wednesday that it “had no prior approval of any face-to-face activities related to In-Service Training and other seminars for teachers.”
This comes after a COVID-19 outbreak among DepEd employees and teachers who had attended a seminar in Zambales.
In a statement, DepEd said it strictly adheres to required health protocols on work and office arrangements set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Department of Health, and Civil Service Commission (CSC).
“The Department of Education Central Office would like to clarify that it had no prior approval of any face-to-face activities related to In-Service Training and other seminars for teachers,” said DepEd.
“In this line, we are investigating the alleged transmission and exposure of personnel of SDO (Schools Division Office) Zambales to COVID-19 during a division-initiated training last March 2-6, 2021,” it added.
Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against those who breached protocols once the investigation is completed, according to the education agency.
DepEd said it is closely monitoring the teachers who were exposed to COVID-19 and has coordinated with concerned field offices to provide medical assistance and psychosocial support for them.
“We enjoin our field offices to exercise prudence and observe existing alternative work arrangements and protocols of CSC and DepEd, including prohibiting large physical gatherings, to avoid similar incidents,” the agency said.
Dr. Noel Bueno, Provincial Health Director of Zambales, said on March 20 that 28 DepEd employees have been infected with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, following the event.
According to reports, the outbreak was initially traced to the patients’ co-worker and a speaker at the seminar.
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