MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has instructed schools to keep “simple but meaningful” their Christmas parties due to the recent calamities that struck the country.
Lapus said schools should even consider cancelling their Christmas parties and donating the funds for these celebrations to calamity victims.
“The difficult economic times call for austerity and simplicity…Much suffering has been experienced, but it should not stop us from ending the year with the spirit unbowed and full of hope,” Lapus said.
He noted that the severe difficulties during the past months brought about by the global financial crisis and by the series of typhoons have tested the Filipinos’ resiliency.
“Schools or offices which decide to forego Christmas parties (should) consider donating the savings to relief assistance for families still reeling from the destruction caused by recent calamities,” Lapus said.
Decorations should be simple, inexpensive and to the extent possible, produced by students and staff. Violators will face administrative sanctions, he added.
Lapus, through DepEd Order 114 series of 2009, said contributions for celebrations in schools or offices whether in cash or kind should be strictly voluntary.
Moreover, gift-giving should be “guided by the spirit of sharing and should not lead to extravagant spending,” Lapus said.
He said Disruption of academic activities in schools and delivery of departmental services should likewise be minimized.
The Christmas break in public schools begins, Dec. 19, 2009. Classes will resume on Jan. 4, Lapus said.
By: Philip Tubeza- Philippine Daily Inquirer