/ 1 September 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday urged basic education institutions to enforce their child protection program to combat all forms of violence and abuse against learners.

He made the call as the Department of Education started investigating six teachers who allegedly abused students at the Bacoor National High School in Cavite.

“Mariin nating kinokondena ang ganitong uri ng pang-aabuso at karahasan sa ating mga mag-aaral. Ang mga paaralan ay dapat nagsisilbing ligtas na espasyo. Walang lugar sa ating mga paaralan ang pang-aabuso at karahasan at hindi dapat natin ito pinapalagpas,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education said.

Gatchalian cited the role of DepEd’s Child Protection Unit, which formulates policies concerning the right of basic education learners to protection from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and maltreatment.

The CPU is also mandated to establish and maintain a monitoring and reporting mechanism for all child protection-related concerns.

In enforcing child protection programs, the senator said that schools should mobilize their Child Protection Committees, which were created under Department Order No. 40 or the Child Protection Policy.

Aside from creating child protection policies, CPCs should also identify learners who may be experiencing abuse and exploitation, and to report cases involving child abuse.

Based on the results of the National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in the Philippines, about 17.1 percent of children aged 13 to below 18 experienced sexual violence, 5.3 percent of which happened in schools.