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DepEd to form child protection committees in schools nationwide

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is working on the creation of child protection committees in all schools nationwide.

Child protection specialist trainings are being conducted to provide schools with properly skilled personnel to man these committees, the DepEd said.

Education Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Alberto Muyot stressed that the best interest of children must always be considered to protect them from abuse and other forms of violence.  

Muyot made the call during the two-day seminar-workshop on sexual harassment and child abuse investigation held at the DepEd-National Capital Region (NCR) last week. DepEd legal service staff and child protection officers from the central office and nearby field offices attended the event.

Acts of violence against children are rooted in the failure to respect children as human beings, Muyot noted during his presentation.

“When you treat children as properties, then that opens the door for abuse and other forms of violence against children,” Muyot said.

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To ensure that cases and instances of abuse are closely monitored at the school level, DepEd issued Order No. 40, series of 2012, or the DepEd Child Protection Policy, which requires all elementary and secondary schools — public and private — to create their own child protection committees (CPC).

Among the tasks of the CPCs are to ensure that learners follow a certain code of conduct in schools and that schools have their localized child protection policy; to develop and implement a school-based referral and monitoring system of cases of all forms of abuse and bullying; and to identify, refer and report cases of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination and bullying to the appropriate offices if needed.

In relation to the program, the DepEd released the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10627, or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, which further provides clearer rules on bullying and cyber-bullying.

This was reiterated through DepEd Memorandum No. 5, s. 2017.

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