(BUSAN, South Korea) President Benigno S. Aquino III and Korean President Park Geun-Hye arrive for the Leaders Group Photo during the 25th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit 2014 at the Convention Hall of the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) on Friday (December 12, 2014). With theme: “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness,” reflecting ROK’s commitment to strengthen its relationship with ASEAN through trust, which should result in happiness for the citizens of ASEAN and the ROK. The Summit covers the review of the ASEAN-ROK cooperation and its future direction, and the cooperation on non-traditional security issues with emphasis on climate change and disaster risk management. (MNS photo)

(BUSAN, South Korea) President Benigno S. Aquino III and Korean President Park Geun-Hye arrive for the Leaders Group Photo during the 25th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit 2014 at the Convention Hall of the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) on Friday (December 12, 2014). With theme: “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness,” reflecting ROK’s commitment to strengthen its relationship with ASEAN through trust, which should result in happiness for the citizens of ASEAN and the ROK. The Summit covers the review of the ASEAN-ROK cooperation and its future direction, and the cooperation on non-traditional security issues with emphasis on climate change and disaster risk management. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – No collections for Christmas parties.

This was the stern reminder to public schools from the Department of Education, which also exhorted them to keep such parties simple.

“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,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said.

He stressed any contribution in public schools should be voluntary.

Luistro also pointed out that while Parents-Teachers Associations may collect financial contributions for the benefit of the students, the fees should be voluntary and agreed upon in a general assembly.

Still, he urged PTAs to minimize the amount of contributions for ceremonies and extra-curricular activities.

More importantly, he urged all schools to keep celebrations such as Christmas parties simple yet meaningful. (MNS)