DepEd's Child Protection (Zero-Tolerance) Policy Against Bullying and Child Abuse

The recent unfortunate events from different schools (Jaime Garcia's case being the most celebrated) related to bullying and child abuse shocked and angered many Filipinos. Because of this, the Department of Education has again urged the teachers and parents to take an in depth look at its Child Protection Policy which was issued last May 2012.

The Child Protection Policy or CPP not only tackles on the incidents that have occurred; they also have a preventive provision to address all forms of child abuse.

As written on the General Provision of the more than 30-page policy, "The best interest of the child shall be the paramount consideration in all decisions and actions involving children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities, and legislative bodies, consistent with the principle of First Call for Children, an enunciated in the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child)."

CPP's Aim

The CPP aims to protect the welfare of the children from different forms of abuse (mental and physical) in school with emphasis on bullying (including cyber-bullying) and corporal punishment. The CPP was adopted to provide protection to children in certain difficult circumstances in which they have no control and administer non-violent punishment to the offender.

What should I do if I'm being bullied or abused?

Report the incident and file a formal complaint immediately to your school official, preferably the School Head or Principal.  You will be asked to fill-out an intake sheet (incident report).

Bullying is defined in the CPP as an act or a series of acts while Child Abuse is defined as "maltreatment of a child whether habitual or not". It doesn't have to occur all the time for it to be considered bullying or abuse. Once is more than enough. Do not tolerate the abuse or wait for a "third strike" before you report it. 

What happens after I file a formal complaint against a bully?

School kids under the age of 18 who reported and filed a complaint regarding a bullying incident will be dealt with accordingly by the Child Protection Committee (mandatory in every school), headed by the School Principal/Head. 

The diagram below depicts the steps the school officials and government agencies should undertake after a complaint is filed.

DepEd Child Protection Policy Referral System Diagram

What will happen to the bully or the offender?

The penalty depends on the case and the seriousness of the incident. The penalty on some cases are suspension, exclusion, or expulsion with the exception of bullying that resulted in physical injury or death. In such case, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (RA 9344) will be applied.

DepEd Child Protection Policy
Taken from DepEd's Facebook Page

This is a good policy. Strict implementation will make it great.

Parents, take time to read and understand the Child Protection Policy. Know your children's rights against abuse. This is the Department of Education's way of protecting our children. Our job is to help them protect our children by aiming ourselves with the right knowledge and proper cooperation.

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