Briones: Identifying teachers’ affiliations ‘standard requirement’
MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Leonor Briones has defended her agency’s action of identifying members of two teachers’ groups, saying it is just “a standard requirement which we require all organizations.”
The Department of Education (DepEd) chief issued this remark on Monday in a bid to allay fears that her agency’s move could pave the way for harassment of teachers.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) earlier expressed concern over an online survey that purportedly seeks to profile teachers who are members of the two groups.
ACT’s Raymond Basilio even likened the survey to the police’s profiling of its members back in 2019.
“That is a standard requirement which we require all organizations,” Briones said in an online briefing. “They are open organizations and as open organizations, of course, they are expected to submit the list of their members. It is standard which is expected of all those who want to be recognized.”
Briones also attempted to lessen worries DepEd’s action may lead to the harassment of ACT and TDC members.
“We don’t harass. Everything, any action that we have undertaken is always covered by the 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 assured that teachers’ personal data are protected.
“We safeguard this 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 in the same briefing.
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