The graduation theme should focus on "Kabataang Mula sa K to 12 Taga-Pagdala ng Kaunlaran sa Bansang Pilipinas."
The graduation should not be beyond April 1 but it would be earlier for those schools that will be used as billeting centers for the Palarong Pambansa, probably on March 21.
Abcede said the directive also strictly bans collection of contributions from the graduating students as the DepEd has an allotted budget for this purpose from a school's miscellaneous operating expenses and expenditures for public address system, paper, ribbon, snacks and diploma.
He said the fund of the department for graduation has increased by 20 percent in the elementary and 25 percent in the secondary.
The DepEd regional head said every Grade 6 pupil has an allocation increase from PHP250 to PHP300 and PHP320 for every fourth year student-candidate for graduation.
Abcede stressed that expensive graduation outfits and celebration rites at posh places are prohibited by the DepEd, which instead calls for the holding of ceremonies inside the school or public place without rental fees.
He clarified that non-payment of authorized contributions should not be a ground for refusing the issuance of clearance or school records of the student involved like grades or Form 138 or 137.
Any school official who will not follow these guidelines could be slapped appropriate charges or administrative case.
Any General Parents-Teachers Association found breaking this rule could have its accreditation cancelled by the department.
On the choice of guest speaker for the occasion, it should be non-partisan, especially that this is the election period.
Abcede said getting a politician as guest speaker is not prohibited provided his speech will not tackle on political subject and with no political tone.
This, he said, is based on Paragraph 4 of Luistro's directive.
Instead, the speaker on the graduation rites should serve as an inspiration for those graduating students to follow his footsteps towards success in life.
"The speaker must be a living example of one who works very hard for him to be successful," Abcede said.
He said the guest speaker could be an alumnus or alumna of the school that invited him or her. (by Nancy Ibo Mediavillo, PNA)