ACT decries DepEd memo on ‘profiling’ of teachers

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
ACT decries DepEd memo on �profiling� of teachers
Photo of a student walking in San Jose del monte bulacan on June 23, 2023.
Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers has denounced the alleged profiling operation of the Department of Education (DepEd) against ACT members.

“The ACT Philippines received three reports of profiling, one from Bohol and two from Region 10. ACT vehemently condemns this profiling operations of the DepEd and appeals to nullify all existing directives,” the teachers’ group said in a statement after a DepEd Memorandum dated June 14 circulated on social media yesterday.

In the supposed memorandum signed by DepEd Undersecretary for operations Revsee Escobedo, all DepEd regional directors and schools division superintendents were directed to submit a list of ACT-affiliated teachers under their respective jurisdictions.

“This Office respectfully request the submission of the complete list of teachers affiliated with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) who are availing of the Department’s Automatic Payroll Deduction System,” the memorandum read.

No reason was cited in the memorandum for requesting the list of ACT-affiliated teachers who are part of the DepEd’s payroll.

Nonetheless, the memo stated that the consolidated list must be submitted to Escobedo’s office, via email, on or before June 21.

“All submissions must be consolidated at the regional level, verified and signed by the regional director,” the memorandum read.

As of press time yesterday, the DepEd has yet to respond to reporters’ queries on the veracity or authenticity of the supposed memorandum.

The ACT, nonetheless, said its leaders in Region 10 already received information that several school heads were recently tasked to list down teachers who are active members of ACT and send this to chief education supervisor (CES) “for appropriate listing.”

The ACT said it also received information that the same DepEd memorandum was also cascaded to Division Office of Zamboanga City.

The profiling controversy coincided with DepEd’s celebration of its 125th founding anniversary yesterday.

End ‘profiling operations ’

The Makabayan bloc has filed a resolution demanding an end to DepEd’s “profiling operations” against ACT Philippines and their members.

In House Resolution 1095, the Makabayan bloc, led by ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, condemned the profiling operations, saying the disclosure and processing of personal information of their members were in violation of the 1987 Constitution and Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act.

“DepEd’s profiling operations against ACT and their members are highly alarming and a clear violation of their basic rights. The disclosure and processing of their personal information and sensitive personal information without their consent is a direct attack on their privacy and security,” the resolution said.

According to Castro, the profiling is “a clear attempt to silence their voices and intimidate them from exercising their right to peaceful assembly and free speech.”

She also called on the Marcos administration, particularly Vice President Sara Duterte and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, to put a stop to profiling of unions and activists, as well as red tagging. — Sheila Crisostomo

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