Senator Bam Aquino warned that public elementary and high school officials who will prevent a student from graduating due to failure to pay graduation fees will be subjected to administrative sanctions.
Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth, said that under DepEd Order No. 8, series of 2005, graduation fees or any other kind of contribution is not a prerequisite for graduation.
Aquino said he supported the call of DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro not to collect any fees from parents for the graduation ceremonies.
Aquino said the practice of collecting graduation fees must stop because the 1987 Constitution mandates the government to provide free public education at the elementary and secondary levels.
“No less than the 1987 Constitution protects our rights to free education and we must take the necessary steps to uphold this provision,” Aquino said.
Aquino called on different private sectors to report to the DepEd public school officials who violate the order.
“We need to put a stop to this and one way of doing it is to get the public’s cooperation as they are our eyes and ears on the ground,” Aquino stressed.
At the same time, Aquino called on private schools to forego of lavish graduation ceremonies and instead donate to the rehabilitation of earthquake victims in Bohol and Cebu and Yolanda survivors in Eastern Visayas.
“Our countrymen in devastated areas still need our help,” said Aquino.
The senator recently visited Bohol to observe the ongoing rehabilitation in earthquake-hit areas.#