3RD QUARTER

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Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) is an annual campaign initiated by the Department of Education (DepEd), in coordination with other agencies, communities, and interest groups, and held to prepare for the opening of the school year. It aims to ensure that students are properly enrolled and able to attend school during the opening of classes.

It seeks to address common problems encountered during school openings. It was first launched in 2005. The task force will handle complaints and serve as a routing mechanism to students, parents and teachers for School Year (SY) 2017-2018 from May 29 to June 16, 2017 to ensure the smooth opening of classes this school year.

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March 17, 2017

DepEd Memorandum No. 55, s. 2017
2017 OPLAN BALIK ESKWELA

To:

Undersecretaries
Assitant Secretaries
Bureau and Service Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public Elementary and Secondary School Heads
All Others Concerned

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) shall launch the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE), and the Public Assistance Station (PAS) for School Year (SY) 2017-2018 to ensure the smooth opening of classes. This year, the annual campaign will run from May 29 to June 16, 2017.

2. The 2017 Oplan Balik Eskwela and the PAS primarily aim to address the problems commonly encountered at the start of the school year to ensure that learners are already properly enroled and able to attend school by the first day of classes.

3. The 2017 Oplan Balik Eskwela and the PAS shall include the following components:

a. Convergence. The Department shall coordinate with the following government agencies involved in school opening matters to assemble the annual OBE Inter-Agency Task Force (OBE-IATF):

i. Department of Energy (DOE);
ii. Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
iii. Department of Health (DOH);
iv. Department of National Defense (DND);
v. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH);
vi. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
vii. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
viii. Manila Electric Company (MERALCO);
ix. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS);
x. Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA);
xi. Office of Civil Defense (OCD);
xii. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); and
xiii. Philippine National Police (PNP).

The OBE-IATF meeting/orientation shall be on May 19, 2017.

b. Command Conference. A Command Conference among the DepEd Officials, partner agencies, Presidential Management Staff (PMS), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), private schools, K to 12 Champions, media, private corporations, and other stakeholders shall be held at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Central Office (CO) on May 30, 2017.

c. Information Dissemination. DepEd shall provide the public with important information through press releases, media interviews, and social media updates.

d. Information and Action Center. The DepEd CO OBE Information and Action Center (OBEIAC) shall be set up on May 27, 2017 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan to serve as the information and complaints processing and routing zone for the duration of the project. To ensure the success of this project, the following offices/units are directed to actively participate and assign representative(s) to the OBEIAC:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Service
• Public Affairs Service
> Communications Division

– Public Assistance Action Center (PAAC)
> Publications Division

Office of the Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations
• Planning Service
> Policy Research and Development Division
> Educational Management Information System Division

Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction
• Bureau of Curriculum Development
• Bureau of Learning Delivery
• Bureau of Education Assessment
• Bureau of Learning Resources
Office of the Undersecretary for Finance – Accounting
• Finance Service
> Accounting Division

• Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development
> Personnel Division
> Employee Welfare Division

Office of the Undersecretary for Finance – Budget
> Budget Division

Office of the Undersecretary for Administrative Service
• Administrative Service
> Asset Management Division
> Education Facilities Division
> General Services Division
• Information and Communications Technology Service
• Bureau and Learner Support Services

> School Health Division
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Procurement Service
• Project Management Service
Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Service
• Investigation Division
• Legal Division

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs
Regional and Division OBBIAC. All regional directors (RDs) and schools division superintendents (SDSs) are hereby directed to set up their local OBEIACs, which shall be composed of the following:
i. Regional OBEIAC:
Chair: Assistant Regional Director (ARD)
Members: Public Affairs Unit
Field Technical Assistance Division (FTAD)
Policy, Planning and Research Division (PPRD)
Quality Assurance Division (QAD) for Private Schools Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD) Senior High School/K to 12 Focal Person/s Legal Unit
ii. Division OBEIAC:
Chair: Assistant Schools Division Superintendent (ASDS)
Members: School Governance and Operations Division (SGOD)
Curriculum Implementation Division (CID)
Planning and Research Section
Social Mobilization and Networking (SocMob)
Legal Division
The names, designation, and contact details of the local OBEIAC chair and members shall be submitted to the Public Assistance Action Center on or before April 15, 2017.
The local OBEIAC shall oversee implementation of the project and address local concerns. It shall set up hotlines to receive calls, text messages, fax messages, and emails on complaints, requests and suggestions from parents, students, and other concerned citizens; set-up a help desk to accommodate walk-in concerns; and update/submit daily reports to the DepEd CO every 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. A copy of the Terms of Reference is enclosed.
4. The project shall be under the general supervision of Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus L.R. Mateo and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs G.H. S. Ambat as co-chairs of Oplan Balik Eskwela 2017.
5. All expenses incurred during this activity shall be charged to Education Information and Communication Services Funds, and the payment for the services by the concerned personnel during the OBE, in addition to, or over and above their regular workload, shall be charged to OSEC Funds for CO personnel, and to local funds for regional and division personnel, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
6. For more information, all concerned officials and individuals may contact:
The DepEd Central Office-Information and Action Center (DepEd CO-IAC)
Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
Telephone No.: (02) 636-1663
Fax No.: (02) 638-8641
Mobile Phone No.: 0919-456-0027
Email Address: action@deped.gov.ph
7. All field and school officials are enjoined to support this campaign to ensure a smooth school opening.
8. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.
LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES
Secretary
What are the efforts undertaken during Oplan Balik Eskwela?
OBE addresses various school opening concerns, e.g.,
  • Traffic
  • Safety and security
  • Price monitoring of school supplies
  • Medical and emergency services
  • Preparation of school buildings and roads
  • Public transportation
  • Supply of utilities in schools
  • Weather outlook
  • Local Government Unit coordination and support
Who are involved in Oplan Balik Eskwela?
The following agencies are key in the organization of the multisectoral task force for school opening:
  • DepEd – Lead agency
  • Department of Energy (DOE);
  • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
  • Department of Health (DOH);
  • Department of National Defense (DND);
  • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH);
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
  • Manila Electric Company (MERALCO);
  • Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS);
  • Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA);
  • Office of Civil Defense (OCD);
  • Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
  • Philippine National Police (PNP)

What is the expected impact of Oplan Balik Eskwela?
The main objective of the campaign is the smooth opening of classes. The following has been realized since OBE was first launched: Among others, the Improvement of traffic flow; quick response to school-opening queries from parents and school authorities; the minimization of confusion during enrollment; the prompt readying of classrooms and school facilities; regulation of school-supply prices; and a decrease of criminal incidences around the vicinity of school.

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