DepEd Policy Development Process

April 13, 2015

DepEd Order No. 13, s. 2015



Assistant Secretaries
Bureau Directors
Directors of Services, Centers and Heads of Units
Regional Directors
School Division Superintendents
Heads, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools All Others Concerned

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) issues the enclosed Guidelines on the Establishment of a Policy Development Process at the Department of Education which aims to establish a policy development process that provides for systematic, evidence-based and participatory mechanisms and procedures for the formulation, adoption and review of policies issued by the DepEd Central Office (CO).

2. The mechanisms and procedures constituting the process shall guide the DepEd CO and its stakeholders in drafting and issuing policies anchored on the DepEd’s vision, mission, mandate and core values, and towards the effective and efficient achievement of education outcomes.

3. All DepEd Orders and other related issuances, rules and regulations and provisions which are inconsistent with these guidelines are hereby repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.

4. Moreover, this policy shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

5. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.


(Enclosure to DepEd Order No. 13, s. 2015)


I. Rationale

1. Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9155, otherwise known as the Governance of Basic Education Act, vests the Department of Education (DepEd) with authority, accountability and responsibility for ensuring access to, promoting equity in, and improving the quality of basic education. Consequently, it formulates, implements, and coordinates policies, plans, programs, projects and activities to ensure a complete, adequate and integrated system of basic education relevant to the goals of national development.

2. Given the complexity of issues on education, the scope of the DepEd’s operations, and the absence of an established mechanism for policy formulation, various issuances embody different levels of DepEd action: DepEd Orders, DepEd Memoranda, Office Orders, Office Memoranda, Unnumbered Memoranda, and Advisories.1 The abundance of these issuances often results in conflicting provisions, which sometimes impede the DepEd’s efficient and effective deliveiy of basic education services.

3. In view of the above, this Order aims to establish a policy development process under the Policy Research and Development Division (PRD) of the Planning Service (PS) that provides for systematic, evidence-based and participatory mechanisms and procedures for the formulation, adoption and review of policies issued by the DepEd CO. The mechanisms and procedures constituting the process shall guide the DepEd CO and its stakeholders in drafting and issuing policies anchored on the DepEd’s vision and mission, mandate and core values, and towards the effective and efficient achievement of education outcomes.

II. Scope of the Policy

4. This DepEd Order provides for the establishment of a process for developing and issuing DepEd policies promulgated by the various offices, bureaus, services, centers in the Central Office and signed by the Secretary. It covers the mechanisms and a procedural map for the formulation, adoption and review of DepEd policies, which may involve DepEd stakeholders within and outside the DepEd CO.

III. Definition of Terms

5. For purposes of this Order, the following terms are defined/understood as follows:

a. Policies are principles, rules and regulations or guidelines adopted by the DepEd through a systematic, evidence-based and participatory process, in order to guide its personnel’s and education stakeholders’ actions and decisions, toward attaining basic education outcomes. Policies reflect the DepEd’s core values and are demonstrated in its programs, projects and activities. Policies are generally characterized in terms of the following elements:

i. Content. Policies establish principles, rules and regulations or guidelines which are usually broad in orientation. To ensure implementation, DepEd shall issue policies which include procedures or instructions for upholding the principles, rules and regulations or guidelines;

ii. Effect. Policies govern actions or behavior, and can create rights and obligations to cany out the DepEd’s mandate;

iii. Duration. Policies are usually long-term in application;

iv. Scope/ Scale. Policies often pertain to institution-wide concerns and are also usually institution-wide or nationwide in application; and

v. Issuing Authority. Policies are promulgated and signed by DepEd Secretary or other officials with legal authority to do so.

b. DepEd issuances are official documents containing policies, procedures, or information released and/or signed by the DepEd Secretary or other authorized officials of the DepEd pursuant to its mandate. Refer to Annex la for the Table of Authority. The different DepEd issuances are the following:

i. DepEd Order;

ii. DepEd Memorandum;

iii. Office Order;

iv. Office Memorandum; and

iv. DepEd Advisory.

These DepEd issuances are described in detail in the matrix in Annex lb. They vary in their content, effect, duration, and issuing activity.

Issuances which contain policies promulgated by the DepEd CO and signed by the Secretary shall be embodied in DepEd Orders when the application of the policies are DepEd-wide or nationwide and in Office Orders when the policies are limited to offices, bureaus, services, centers, in the Central Office.

IV. Policy Statement

6. The DepEd hereby establishes the policy development process described in this Order for formulating, adopting and reviewing policies issued by the DepEd CO and signed by the Secretary. This process is based on the policy cycle2, which or when applied, should ensure that mechanisms and procedures involved shall:

a. adhere to the DepEd’s vision, mission, mandate, and core values;

b. contribute to the attainment of the DepEd’s goals and outcomes;

c. employ a systematic set of activities leading to the development of DepEd policies;

d. adopt an evidence-based approach that relies on sound research, studies and contributions of experts; and

e. use participatoiy methods which will take into account the concerns of relevant stakeholders.

V. Policy Development Process

7. The Policy Development Process in Figure 1 on the next page consists of the different phases of the policy cycle; namely,

a. Agenda-setting;

b. Policy formulation;

c. Policy adoption;

d. Policy implementation; and

e. Policy review.

The activities involved in each phase are also illustrated in Figure 1. Each phase involves distinct undertakings which can lead to the next phase. However, it is possible to return to the previous phase/s of the process, if necessary. For instance, after policy formulation, the Secretary may order a review of additional policy options (which is still under the policy formulation stage) or a revision of the policy agenda, instead of proceeding to policy adoption.

A. Agenda Setting

8. This phase involves the recognition of education policy gaps, issues, general problem areas, opportunities, trends, goals and other concerns which may require policy intervention from the DepEd. At this stage, specific problems may not yet be clearly defined, but they could have surfaced and have been brought to the attention of the DepEd Executive Committee (ExeCom), offices, bureaus, or centers, and even of other stakeholders.

9. Agenda-setting involves the DepEd’s adoption of official long-term or short-term policy agenda, or identification of priority areas where policies will be developed. The Planning Service (PS) or any DepEd office, bureau or center (even at the regional or division level) with mandate and expertise to respond to a policy issue or area may spearhead and consolidate inputs to formulate comprehensive and proactive policy agenda or identify priority areas and submit these to the ExeCom for approval. Only policy areas approved by the ExeCom shall be subjected to policy analysis following the policy formulation and subsequent processes described in this Order. The ExeCom shall identify the policy proponent, which may be the concerned DepEd office, bureau or center that has the mandate and expertise to respond to the policy issue. The ExeCom may also review and revise the policy agenda as the need arises.

10. Generation of inputs for the development of a policy agenda may happen either formally or informally. The formal process often takes the form of consultations, such as official meetings, fora, conferences, or workshops, purposely designed to raise or discuss concerns which may need policy action. Consultations may be initiated by and conducted among internal DepEd stakeholders, including offices, bureaus, centers, relevant committees, such as the Budget Committee, Program Committee (ProgCom), or Management Committee (ManCom), or even external stakeholders such as the associations of teachers and employees, private schools, students, parents, and other civil society organizations, lawmakers and other policy makers, other officials of government agencies, academicians and researchers.

11. The informal process may involve the generation of policy issues or concerns through activities, which may not be principally intended for agenda setting, but which enable internal and external stakeholders to surface issues or concerns requiring policy intervention. Informal agenda-setting may be initiated internally, such as when a DepEd office, bureau or center, in the course of its work or based on engagement with stakeholders, realizes policy concerns. External stakeholders can also initiate the informal process by raising issues through other channels for promoting their concerns.

B. Policy Formulation

12. At this stage, the general policy gaps, issues, problem areas, opportunities, trends, goals and other concerns, which were approved by the ExeCom as part of the policy agenda or for the conduct of policy analysis, are translated into a specific problem or issue that may be addressed by several policy alternatives. The proponent identified by the ExeCom shall conduct a policy analysis to properly identify the problem and generate policy alternatives or options.

13. While there are various models of policy analysis which may be employed, the proponent office, bureau or center must ensure that the basic steps in policy analysis discussed in Annex 2 are undertaken. These include:

a. identification and verification of the problem;

b. identification of policy criteria;

c. identification of policy options;

d. comparing and contrasting policy options;

e. identification of the recommended policy; and

f. implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

14. The proponent shall proactively engage relevant stakeholders within and outside DepEd in the various processes of policy analysis. Consultations may be made with the Budget Committee, ProgCom, or the ManCom, as the case may be. The proponent shall also conduct thorough research to find studies and empirical evidence to establish the problem, generate policy options, forecast their outcomes, and to support other aspects of the policy analysis. Such participatoiy and evidence-based approach shall be observed in the formulation of new policies or the amendment or revision of existing policies.

15. The proponent shall prepare a comprehensive documentation of the policy analysis and use the same in drafting the DepEd Order that will embody the policy proposal. For a complete policy issuance, the draft enclosure to the DepEd Order shall contain the basic contents indicated in Annexes 3A and 3B. The contents may be adjusted to achieve the 3Cs: coherence or well-organized text, conciseness, and clarity. In addition to the draft enclosure to the DepEd Order, the proponent should also accomplish the Policy Proposal Summary provided in Annex 4, which serves as a tool for reviewing the proposal.

16. The proponent shall submit the Policy Proposal Summary, draft enclosure to the DepEd Order and the documentation of the policy analysis to the Policy Research and Development Division (PRD) under the Planning Service (PS).

17. Upon effectivity of this Order, the PRD shall develop a work plan detailing the initial implementation of its duties, within thirty (30) days from its constitution.

18. The PRD has the following duties:

a. provide technical assistance to the proponent office, bureau or center in the conduct of the policy analysis;

b. receive and review the summary, draft enclosure and DepEd Order and the documentation of the policy analysis from the proponent office, bureau or center;

c. request for discussion, clarification, additional information or documents from the proponent office, bureau or center in the conduct of the review;

d. consult and request information from other DepEd offices, bureaus or centers, officials, personnel or other stakeholders in the conduct of the review including the language use, reformatting and styling from the Publications Division-Public Affairs Service (PD-PAS);

e. evaluate all draft DepEd Memoranda to ensure that they do not contain DepEd policies;

f. recommend the appropriate signing official and type of issuance that should embody the proposal based on the different DepEd issuances described in Annex la and lb;

g. provide initial recommendations to improve the proposed DepEd Order and ensure that the proposed policy:

i. has been developed after exhaustive policy analysis;

ii. is based on reliable evidence and meaningful consultations;

iii. is complete, clear and not open to confusion or misinterpretation;

iv. has gone through PD-PAS’s standard reformatting, assessment of language use, mechanism and styling;

v. is consistent with the values, mandate, and issuances of DepEd, and with laws and policy issuances of other government agencies;

vi. enables and empowers education stakeholders, and is not overly restrictive;

vii. is implementable; and

viii. does not pose insurmountable risks.

h. if necessary, conduct further policy analysis, including cost-benefit analysis or other applicable analytical tools, to determine whether the proposal should be recommended to the ExeCom for approval or not; and

i. endorse the draft DepEd Order (revised as the case may be) and the Policy Proposal Summary through the Head of the PRD to the DepEd ExeCom for consideration.

19. The ExeCom shall set a regular schedule for taking up proposed DepEd Orders endorsed by the PRD. The ExeCom shall request the proponent office, bureau or center to provide additional information to facilitate its review of the policy proposal. Based on its review, the ExeCom shall either recommend the Secretary’s approval of the proposed DepEd policy, or direct further study and/or amendment of the same, or take any other action it deems appropriate.

C. Policy Adoption

20. Upon the Secretary’s approval of the policy proposal, he or she shall affix his/her signature to the DepEd Order articulating the proposed policy.

21. The signed DepEd Orders shall be transmitted to the PD-PAS, which will:

a. assign a control number to the DepEd Order, following a chronological system that begins with the number one (1) every calendar year;

b. cause the online publication of DepEd Orders in and in the Official Gazette prior to policy implementation, in accordance with Executive Order No. 200, s. 1987 dated June 18, 1987 entitled Providing for the Publication of Laws Either in the Official Gazette or in a Newspaper of General Circulation in the Philippines as a Requirement for Their EJfectivity,

c. file three certified true copies of each DepEd Order with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR), University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, in accordance with Executive Order No. 292, s. 1987 dated July 25, 1987 entitled Instituting the “Administrative Code of 1987” and other applicable laws;

d. ensure that both searchable and signed copies of the Order are uploaded in the DepEd website;

e. circulate copies of the DepEd Order to concerned officials, personnel and affected stakeholders; and

f. keep and maintain a digitized repository of the DepEd Order and other issuances.

22. The Communications Division – Public Affairs Service (CD-PAS) shall facilitate the publication of the DepEd Orders in a newspaper of general circulation in accordance with Executive Order No. 200, s. 1987.

23. The Records Division under the Administrative Service shall be the official repository of all original copies of DepEd Orders.

24. Other forms of DepEd issuances described in Annexes la and lb shall follow a different and unique numbering system shown in Annex 5. All Undersecretaries heading each strand shall develop and maintain a database of all issuances that emanate from his/her strand and shall ensure that no unnumbered orders and memoranda are issued and circulated.

D. Policy Implementation

25. After policy adoption, the DepEd shall implement the new policy following the mechanisms, procedures, roles and responsibilities and activities embodied in the DepEd Order. For this purpose, the implementation plan developed by the proponent as part of the policy analysis should supplement the necessary details. Capacitybuilding activities, when appropriate, shall be undertaken to effectively and efficiently carry out the policy.

26. Guided by the monitoring and evaluation plan formulated during policy analysis, the DepEd implementing office, bureau or center shall undertake progress monitoring to ensure continuous and systematic observation of the level of compliance/implementation with the policy since the time of its adoption. Monitoring shall involve periodic checks on whether activities are geared towards addressing the issue/s for which the policy was developed or not. Monitoring results shall be duly recorded and made available to the Planning Service_and the ExeCom to justify adjustments in the implementation, and to provide data for policy evaluation. The PRD may also conduct periodic policy compliance monitoring

E. Policy Review

27. Based on the schedule provided in the monitoring and evaluation plan, the DepEd shall undertake an evaluation of the policy to ascertain its impact with regard to the issue it sought to address. Policies with a definite duration shall undergo a midterm and end-of-policy evaluation. The PRD, in coordination with the proponent or lead office, bureau or center implementing the policy, will ensure the conduct of such evaluation, taking into account measurable indicators developed during policy analysis, applicable assessment approaches, methods and tools, and available resources. External experts may be contracted to conduct policy evaluation, subject to available resources and as may be appropriate. All policies shall be subject to periodic evaluation.

28. The PRD shall submit the results of the policy evaluation to the ExeCom and the lead implementing office, bureau or center. Based on the evaluation results, the PRD may recommend the policy’s (a) continued implementation, (b) amendment, or (c) repeal. Concerned offices and stakeholders shall pursue the recommendation following the DepEd’s policy cycle as provided in this Order.

E. Funding

29. Funding for the operations of the PRD shall be included in the budget of the DepEd under Planning Service Funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations. PRD shall likewise manage the Basic Education Research Funds (BERF) of the Department.

VI. Monitoring and Evaluation

30. PS-PRD shall continuously gather feedback on the implementation of the Policy Development Process from all concerned internal and external stakeholders. It shall conduct a period review of this policy to further enhance its provisions and effectiveness.

VII. References

31. Provisions stipulated in DepEd Order Nos. 8 and 36, s. 2013, DepEd Memorandum No. 146, s. 2013, DepEd Order No. 63, s. 2011, Office Order dated December 18, 2002, and other previous issuances which are inconsistent with this Order are hereby repealed.

VII. Effectivity/Transitory Provision

32. This policy shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation. This shall be registered with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) at the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

– nothing follows –


1. Identification and verification of the problem. This can be done by understanding the background of the problem situation which requires identifying the causes and effects of the problem; stakeholders and their contributions and interests; and previous efforts or policies to solve the problem and their results, among others.

2. Identification of criteria for an appropriate policy that will address the identified problem. The key question here is: based on your understanding of the problem, what kind of policy intervention is necessary to solve it? This sets the policy objectives that can be the basis for comparing policy options.

3. Identification of policy options. This is where specific policy alternatives are suggested. Policy options can be generated from studies, empirical research, best practices, experience, consultations with stakeholders and experts, among others.

4. Comparing and contrasting the policy options. Here, the different policy options will be assessed against each other based on the previously identified criteria. Part of the process is forecasting possible risks and outcomes, both positive and negative, in case the proposal is adopted and implemented. Budget and other resource requirements will be considered in assessing the options.

5. Identification of recommended policy. Based on the comparison of alternatives, the policy option that best satisfies the set criteria will be submitted as the policy proposal.

6. Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the recommended policy. Since the policy is still a recommendation, the proponent unit must develop a proposed implementation plan that outlines the key activities to be undertaken to carry out the recommended policy. ‘The proponent unit should also formulate a monitoring and evaluation plan that outlines indicators of policy performance, measurement methods, tools and activities for evaluation. Both implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation plans must provide time frames for the conduct of key activities, taking into account the Department’s school and fiscal calendars.

Read: Matrix of DepEd Issuances (DepEd Orders, DepEd Memoranda, Office Orders, Office Memoranda, Advisories)

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