The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded all public school authorities that collection of any fees for school activities and celebrations is strictly prohibited.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said that contributions in public schools should be voluntary. He added that while Parents-Teachers Association may be authorized to collect financial contributions from its members to enable it to implement programs and projects (such as Christmas parties) for the benefit of the students, the fees should be voluntary and agreed upon by the members in a general assembly.

Luistro urged the PTAs to minimize the amount of contributions for ceremonies and extra-curricular activities in consideration of the many expenses that parents incur in sending their children to school.

He said, “The payment of such contributions shall not be made a requirement. Non-payment of voluntary school contributions shall not be made as a basis for non-admission, non-promotion, or non-issuance of clearance to a student—including the withholding of school cards.”

Luistro urged all schools to keep celebrations such as Christmas parties simple yet meaningful.