Department of Education (DepEd) Officials and Personnel were reminded on Tuesday to focus on non-partisan public service and to veer from electioneering as election period officially begins last Sunday.

According to DEPED Secretary Leonor Briones, the Constitution mandates that no officer or employee in the civil service shall engage directly or indirectly in any electioneering or partisan political campaign which may also be applicable to the agency's officials, teachers and employees.

She stressed Deped should remain a beacon of integrity in these times.

Under DEPED Order no. 48 s.2018, the prohibited activities include but are not limited to “Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and or undertaling any campaign or against a candidate/party, making speeches, announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate or party for public office, publishing, displaying or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate or party, receiving any contributions for political purposes, either directly or indirectly, Wearing of T-shirts or pins, caps or any other similar election paraphernalia bearing the names of the candidates or political party except as authorized by COMELEC, being watcher for a political party or candidate during the election, Utilizing government resources such as personnel, including job order or contract of service hires, time, and properties for political purposes.”

Furthermore, the secretary prohibited officials from using their position of authority to influence teaching and/or non-teaching personnel under their supervision of jurisdiction to support any preferred candidate or political party.

Meantime, DEPED Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan clarified that DEPED teachers and employees are still allowed to express views but not to the point of electioneering.

On Jan. 22, DEPED is set to hold a general assembly with regional directors, assistant regional directors, division superintendent and other leading central office directors to discuss the issue.