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DepEd to Salungpongan parents: Move your kids to public schools

The Department of Education XI urged the parents of the students of Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon learning center to enroll their children in public schools instead.

Last July 12, the DepEd XI ordered the suspension of 55 schools operated by the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centers in the region following claims that the schools were being used by communists to indoctrinate the children.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Jenielito Atillo, the DepEd XI spokesperson said that they have monitored some parents who transferred their children to public schools.

However, he admitted that the number is not that high. He said the desire to be helped should emanate from the parents themselves. The public schools, meanwhile, are always ready to accept them even if they register late because classes have already started.

Atillo said they will even forego the credentials as long as the children will continue their education.
Meanwhile, he said the suspension order is still in effect. They are waiting on the DepEd evaluators whether or not the suspension will be lifted or the Salugpongan will be totally closed down. However, he said they already received the response from the organizers of the school.

“I cannot tell you the response,” he said, adding that they are looking at each issue that was raised by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon who alleged that the schools are breeding ground for recruitment into the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“After that, we will have a decision,” he said. “If our position will not be acceptable, they have all the remedies under the existing laws to contest the decision up to the level of the secretary (DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones).”

Although they have no timeline yet, he said they are speeding up the process because of the number of children who will be affected. He said they even extended the deadline from the original five days to 10 days for the Salugpongan administrators to respond to the show cause order.

“We would like to commend Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon learning center for really responding to the legal demands of the department,” Atillo said.

The organization has submitted its reply on the deadline date last July 22.

Meanwhile, Salugpongan officials said they have always complied with all the necessary papers required from them by the DepEd. They are also making sure that they possess the permit to operate. The group said that Esperon is just red-tagging them to justify the closure order.

“Education is an issue that directly concerns the public. We appeal to the public to support the Lumad children and their right to education and to oppose the injustice depriving them of this right,” it added.


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