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DepEd Advisory on Executing Employee Waiver As A Requirement Upon Return to Work Amid Pandemic

“Nakarating sa aming tanggapan ang ilang report tungkol sa mga guro at mga kawani ng DepEd na pinapipirma ng waiver upang sila ay pumasok sa opisina o paaralan.

Ipinaaalala ng DepEd na ayon sa DO 11, s. 2020, ang physical reporting ay hindi mandatory at kinakailangang ikonsulta sa empleyado. Ang mga waiver na nag-a-authorize sa DepEd personnel at mga guro na pumasok ay walang legal effect.

Ang pagpasok sa opisina o paaralan ay ikokonsidera lamang kung ang task o function ay hindi maaaring gawin sa pamamagitan ng alternative at remote work arrangements.Relative to the implementation of work arrangements based on DepEd Order (DO) No. 011 2020, or the Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements in the Department of Education During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, it has recently been brought to the attention of the DepEd Central Office (CO) that some DepEd offices and schools have been requiring teaching and non-teaching personnel to sign a waiver in connection with the possible risk of exposure to COVID-19 upon return to the workplace.” Source: DepEd Philippines

This has been the statement of Deped about the waiver issue that is reportedly being practiced by schools in connection with the work arrangement of teachers and personnel. 

DepEd condemned such act and stated that it is completely illegal.

Read the memorandum of DepEd about the matter below for your reference and guidance.

“For the guidance and information of all, a waiver is the voluntary relinquishment or suite under of some known right or privilege. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, “rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law”. 

In view of the foregoing, the waivers issued through a directive authorizing DepEd personnel, including public school teachers, to report for work voluntarily and physically in their respective schools or offices produce no legal effect. 

It is reiterated in DO No. 011, s. 2020 and DM-PHRODFO-2020-00198 dated June 22, 2020, that physical reporting to the workplace/onsite is not mandatory, and shall be done in consultation with the personnel. The determination of the work arrangement in offices/schools/CLCs shall be based on the nature of work with due consideration to the health and safety conditions, travel and inter-border limitations, and the form of community quarantine imposed in the area where the office/school/CLC is situated, anchored on the minimum public health and safety measures of the Department of Health (DOH) and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Physical reporting to the workplace/onsite shall be kept at the minimum and shall be considered ONLY when the tasks and functions cannot be rendered through alternative strategies and remote modalities. 

As a reminder, DO 011 s.2020 directs Heads of Offices requiring physical reporting to the workplace/onsite to ensure the following: 

1. Issue à travel/ office order in addition to the DepEd ID for identification purposes (Item No. 16.b.iii) during travel from residence to workplace and vice versa; 

2. Based on the available resources of the offices/schools/CLCs, provide transportation services pursuant to Item Nos. 43-45 of DO 011 s. 2020; and 

3. Ensure that the workplace is compliant with the Safe Return to Work protocols pursuant to Item No. 17 of DO 011 s.2020 and other safety and health precautionary measures required by the DOH and IATF-EID. 

For immediate dissemination and appropriate action.”