DepEd to schools: Shun CSR donations from tobacco companies
Days before the start of the annual Brigada Eskwela, the Department of Education (DepEd) has reminded schools not to accept gifts, donations, and sponsorships from companies in the tobacco industry, whether directly or indirectly, or in the guise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.
“We welcome partners who can work with us in promoting the theme for this year’s Brigada. However, we cannot consider as partners those industries that undermine our efforts to fulfil our mandate, which includes the promotion of healthy environments in schools through our tobacco policies,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement on Friday.
DepEd reminds its offices and schools to exercise ‘due dillegence’ to ensure that aid would not come from foundations and non-government organizations funded by tobacco companies and retailers.
To avoid these situations, DepEd has required a provision in the memorandum of agreement between the department and its donors and partners, stating that partners do not “represent the interests of, or receive funding from the tobacco industry”.
DepEd added that this reminder, as per DepEd Order No. 48 (DO 48) series of 2016 or the Policy Guidelines on Comprehensive Tobacco Control, does not count only for the Brigada Eskwela but for the whole school year.
DepEd said in a previous report that Brigada Eskwela will start on May 29 at New Society High School in General Santos.
DO 48 is based on a joint memorandum circular issued by the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Health in 2010, which orders public officials to interact with the tobacco industry “only when strictly necessary for the latter’s effective regulation, supervision, or control.” /muf
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