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DepEd strengthens child protection policy

By Connie Calipay

The Department of Education (DepEd) in Bicol aimed to establish, reactivate, and strengthen child protection policies through a child protection training and planning conference that will end on Friday, April 1.

The three-day conference at Balud town in Masbate province was attended by school governance and operations division (SGOD) chiefs and child protection focal persons from 13 Schools Division in the region.

Maria Cristina Baroso, DepEd-5 project development officer, said the training is for the agency to reinforce DepEd Order No. 40, s. of 2012 and the laws protecting the rights of children.

“Our primary focus is to reactivate our School Child Protection Committee, Review the School-Based Child Protection Policy and establish Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe), which are the groups that will lead in policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and advocacy campaigns in different levels of governance,” Baroso said.

Asked why it is a reactivation, Barroso said “they need to review the School-Based Child Protection Policy and reorganize the composition. The structure to support the implementation of the Child Protection Policy before was designated to child protection specialists in every division but as we strengthen the protection we are making a unit.”

Masbate School Division is a long-time partner of PLAN International and the advocacy is for the School Child Protection Policy.

DepEd Bicol added that as to the cases involving children, “We have received reports from Department of Social Welfare Development on the reported cases of OSEC (Online Sexual Exploitation).”

Baroso also added that parents, teachers, child protection advocates, and communities can do something to alter its effects through the active promotion of children’s rights protection.

Participants from different divisions committed to being arms of the government to protect the children, believing that the child they care for today will care for the tomorrow. (PNA)

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