DepEd: Tulfo 'on-the-spot compromise' against policy, deprived teacher of due process

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
DepEd: Tulfo 'on-the-spot compromise' against policy, deprived teacher of due process
Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo
TV5 / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo's act of pressuring a teacher to quit her for alleged maltreatment of a student is against Department of Education policy, deprived the teacher of her right to due process, and bypasses an ongoing process, DepEd said Sunday.

DepEd said the on-air confrontation on Tulfo's "Tulfo in Action" program was a "move for on-the-spot compromise" since it bargained "the resignation of the teacher in exchange for the non-filing of complaints against her."

DepEd said that in its Child Protection Policy, "incidents of child abuse are not subject to compromise."

It added: "On the other hand, teachers are entitled to due process, which was not given to her during the program."

Section 20 of the Department of Education's Child Protection Policy reads: 

"A complaint for child abuse, violence, exploitation or discrimination in a private school shall be filed with the School Head/Chief Executive Officer and shall be acted upon pursuant to the school’s rules of procedures on administrative cases. The penalty shall be that which is provided by the rules of the school, subject to the requirements of due process."

"Schools are second home to learners, while teachers are their second parents. We entrust our children to the institution and teachers," DepEd said.

DepEd issued the statement after Tulfo pressured teacher Melita Limjuco to have her license revoked over CCTV footage that showed her forcing a Grade 2 student to sit outside their classroom as punishment for not bringing a required report card.

Tulfo drew flak from netizens after his program aired.

The student's parents agreed that they wanted Limjuco to lose her license.

DepEd in their statement, though, acknowledged that her resignation would have a serious impact on the teacher and her family. 

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition earlier called for policy reforms in the wake of the incident to address what they called "teacher-shaming."

DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla on her Facebook page assured the public that the case is being handled by DepEd, but the law prohibits disclosing details pertaining to investigative proceedings. 

DepEd's statement, too, was careful to mention that while the case was already being attended to by the department's offices, these procedures were "consistent with the applicable laws and policies."

The department in their statement recommended that schools empower their Parent-Teacher networks to further establish mutual understanding between the two.

"Even prior to the airing of the television program, there was already a meeting between the parents of the learner and the teacher before the school head, and it is best for this process to continue," DepEd said. 

DepEd said that in order to help "maintain and promote trust, respect and dignity" among stakeholders, it "will be organizing a dialogue with representatives of the media to exchange perspectives on the handling of issues involving students, teachers and schools."



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