MANILA — Teachers in elementary and secondary public schools may begin their Christmas vacation on Dec. 16, following the memorandum issued by the Office of Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Regional Offices and Schools Division Offices – in view of DepEd Order No. 49, series 2018, or “Amendments to DepEd Order No. 25, s. 2018 (School Calendar for School Year 2018-2019).”

However, teachers may still be required to report and render services from Dec. 16 to 22 in the exigency of public service. Equivalent vacation service credits, in accordance with DepEd Order No. 53, series of 2003, shall be given to teachers required to report for work.

“Exigency of public service” refers to “a situation where service is urgently needed, and where any delay in its execution and delivery will adversely affect the outcome of the service to clients and its effective and efficient delivery.”

In such cases, the memorandum stipulates that requests to require the attendance of public school teachers during the declared Christmas break must satisfy the following conditions:

1) A letter-request is submitted by the school head to his/her respective SDO;

2) Sufficient justification is provided to establish that exigency of public service exists; and

3) The request is duly approved by the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS).

In regard to the attendance of private school learners and teachers, per DepEd Order No. 25, s. 2018, private schools have the discretion to develop and follow their own school calendar as long as the minimum number of class days is completed and the provisions of Republic Act No. 7797, or the “Act to Lengthen the School Calendar From 200 Days to Not More 220 Class Days,” are observed. (PR)