Department of Education

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Department of Education

Seal of the Department of Education

Established: 1947
Secretary: Armin A. Luistro, FSC
Budget: PhP201 billion (2012)

The Department of Education (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Edukasyon), more popularly known as DepEd, formerly the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Edukasyon, Kultura at Palakasan) or DECS, is the executive department of the Philippine government which is primarily charged with the management and upkeep of the Philippine educational system. One of three government bodies overseeing and supervising education in the Philippines, the DepEd is the chief formulator of Philippine educational policy and is responsible for the Philippine primary and secondary school system, while CHED is responsible for tertiary and graduate education and TESDA is responsible for technical-vocational and middle level education.



In pre-Hispanic times, education in the Philippines was informal and unstructured, without any fixed methodology. Children were usually taught by their parents and tribal tutors and such education was geared more towards skills development. This underwent a major change when Spain colonized the islands. Tribal tutors were replaced by Spanish missionaries, and education became oriented more towards academics and the Catholic religion. It was also primarily for the elite, especially in the early years of the colony. Later, however, the Educational Decree of 1863 was enacted, providing for the establishment of at least one primary school for boys and girls in each town under the responsibility of the municipal government; and the establishment of a normal school for male teachers under the supervision of the Jesuits. Primary instruction was free and the teaching of Spanish was compulsory. More significantly, this decree also established the Superior Commission of Primary Instruction, a forerunner of the present Department of Education.

Under Aguinaldo’s Revolutionary Government, the Spanish schools were initially closed, but were reopened on August 29, 1898 by the Secretary of the Interior. A system of free and compulsory elementary education was established by the Malolos Constitution. The Burgos Institute in Malolos, the Military Academy of Malolos, and the Literary University of the Philippines were also established.

During the American occupation, an adequate secularized and free public school system was established upon the recommendation of the Schurman Commission. Per instructions of President William McKinley, the Taft Commission enforced free primary instruction that trained the people for the duties of citizenship, and assigned chaplains and non-commissioned officers to teach, using English as the medium of instruction.

The Philippine Commission instituted a highly centralized public school system in 1901, by virtue of Act No. 74, which also established the Department of Public Instruction, headed by a General Superintendent. However, the implementation of this Act caused a heavy shortage of teachers, leading the Philippine Commission to authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction to bring 600 teachers from the United States to the Philippines. These teachers would later be popularly known as the Thomasites. Later, the Organic Act of 1916 reorganized the Department of Public Instruction, mandating that it be headed by a Secretary, and that all department secretaries should be Filipinos, except for the Secretary of Public Instruction.

During World War II, the department was reorganized once again through the Japanese Military Order No. 2 in 1942, which established the Commission of Education, Health, and Public Welfare. With the establishment of the Japanese-sponsored Republic, the Ministry of Education was created on October 14, 1943. Under the Japanese, the teaching of Tagalog, Philippine History, and Character Education was given priority. Love for work and the dignity of labor were also emphasized.

In 1947, after the Philippine Commonwealth had been restored, the Department of Instruction was changed to Department of Education by virtue of Executive Order No. 94. During this period, the regulation and supervision of public and private schools belonged to the Bureau of Public and Private Schools. In 1972, the Department of Education became the Department of Education and Culture by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1, and subsequently became the Ministry of Education and Culture in 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1397. Thirteen regional offices were created and major organizational changes were implemented in the educational system.

The Education Act of 1982 created the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, which later became the Department of Education, Culture and Sports in 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 117 of President Corazon C. Aquino. The structure of DECS as embodied in EO No. 117 practically remained unchanged until 1994, when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) was established to supervise tertiary degree programs , and 1995, when the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) was established to supervise non-degree technical-vocational programs.

The trifocal education system refocused DECS’ mandate to basic education which covers elementary, secondary and nonformal education, including culture and sports. TESDA now administers the post-secondary, middle-level manpower training and development, while CHED is responsible for higher education.

In August 2001, Republic Act No. 9155, otherwise called the "Governance of Basic Education Act", was passed renaming the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) to the Department of Education (DepEd) and redefining the role of field offices, which include regional offices, division offices, district offices, and schools.

List of Secretaries of Education

Month started Month finished Name Position
Secretaries of Public Instruction
1935 1940 Sergio Osmena
1940 1941 Jorge Bocobo
Secretaries of Public Instruction, Health, and Public Welfare Commonwealth War Cabinet
1942 1944 Sergio Osmena
Commissioner of Public Instruction Philippine Executive Commission
1942 1943 Claro M. Recto
Minister of Public Instruction 2nd Republic
1943 1945 Jorge Bocobo
Secretaries of Education, Culture and Sports
February 1986 December 1989 Lourdes Quisumbing
January 1990 June 1992 Isidro Cariño
July 1992 July 1994 Armand Fabella
August 1994 December 1997 Ricardo Gloria
January 1998 June 1998 Erlinda Pefianco
July 1998 January 2001 Br. Andrew Gonzalez
February 2001 August 2001 Raul Roco
Secretaries of Education
August 2001 August 2002 Raul Roco
September 2002 July 2004 Edilberto de Jesus
July 2004 July 2005 Florencio Abad
July 2005 September 2005 Ramon Bacani OIC
September 2005 July 2006 Fe Hidalgo Acting
July 2006 June 30, 2010 Jesli Lapus
June 30, 2010 present Armin A. Luistro, FSC

Functions and Responsibilities


  • Office of the Secretary
  • Administrative Services - Responsible for providing the Department with economical, efficient, and effective services relating to legal assistance, information records, supplies, equipment, security and custodial work.
    • Office of the Director
    • Legal Division
    • General Services Division
    • Dental Clinic
    • Medical Clinic
    • Radio Communication Network Unit
    • Security Service Unit
    • Records Division
    • Property Division
    • Teachers Camp
  • Financial and Management Service
    • Budget Division
    • Accounting Division
    • Management Division
    • Payroll Services Division
    • Systems Division
    • Cash Division.
  • Human Resource Development Service - Develops and administers personnel programs which include selection and placement, classification and pay, career and employment development performance appraisal, employee relations and welfare services.
    • Personnel Division
      • Projects
        • Monitoring and evaluation of Personnel Records and Current Personnel Actions in the different Regional and Division Offices.
        • Establishment of the DECS Personnel Information System (PIS)
        • National Search Committee
        • Revision of the DECS Performance Appraisal System (PAS)
        • DECS-PLM Off-Campus Masteral and Doctoral Programs
        • Review of Position Description to update position titles in DECS
        • Personnel Audit of Schools and Personnel of the Central Office
    • Employees Welfare and Benefits Division
      • DECS Provident Fund
      • DECS Expanded Shelter Program
      • DECS Cooperative Program
      • DECS Employees Suggestion and Incentive Awards System (ESIAS)
      • Pre-Retirement Innovation and Option for Results (PRIOR)
      • DECS-PVB Financial Assistance
      • DECS Hospitalization Fund Program
    • Staff Development Division
      • Special Programs
        • Values Orientation Workshop
        • Human Rights Education
        • Peace Educations
        • Gender and Development
        • Graft and Corruption Prevention Education
      • Programs
        • Local and Foreign Scholarships
        • Skills Enhancement Programs of DECS Non-Teaching Personnel
        • Computer Literacy Programs
        • Career Planning and Development
        • Automatic Progression Scheme
        • Alternative Training Delivery Systems
        • The Distance Training Program (DTP)
        • Expanded Shelter Program
        • DECS Provident Fund
        • DECS Hospitalization Guarantee Fund Program
        • DECS Grievance machinery
        • DECS Employees Suggestions and Incentives Awards System
        • DECS Teachers and Employees Cooperatives
        • Pre-Retirement Innovations and Options for Results
  • Planning Service - Responsible for providing the department with effective and efficient services like generating and processing of education- related data, developing educational programs/projects, program monitoring, assessment and evaluation, planning and programming of educational facilities and providing technical assistance to requesting offices from the national to the sub-national levels related to the planning and related activities.
    • Planning and Programming Division
    • Project Development and Evaluation Division
    • Research and Statistics Division
    • Physical Facilities Division
  • Technical Service
    • Materials Production and Publication Division
    • Educational Information Division
    • Audio-Visual Division
    • Educational Technology Unit

Attached Agencies

  1. Bureau of Elementary Education
  2. Bureau of Physical Education & School Sports
  3. Bureau of Secondary Education
  4. Center for Students & Co-Curricular Affairs
  5. Educational Development Project Implementing Task Force
  6. National Book Development Board (NBDB)
  7. National Educators Academy of the Philippines
  8. National Educational Testing and Research Center
  9. Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA)
  10. School Health and Nutrition Center

See Also




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