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CHILD PROTECTION UNIT AND THE CHILD RIGHTS IN EDUCATION DESK IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) issues the enclosed policy on the creation of the Child Protection Unit (CPU) under the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong  Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office and the Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe) under the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs in the Department.
2. Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, the State  shall  protect and  promote  the right  of all children to accessible and quality basic  education. Alongside this right  is the constitutional policy that the State shall promote and protect their holistic development through the  promotion of their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

3. The 1987 Constitution and other domestic and international laws, primarily the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, guarantee a range of rights of children to promote their overall well-being. Among the rights of the child in basic education are the right to education, right against discrimination, right to health, right to participation and to have one's  views heard, right to religion, right to rest and  play, and right to protection  against  all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and maltreatment.

4. The Department, in upholding the  right  of the  child  to special  protection and reiterating its  policy of zero  tolerance for any act of abuse and violence  against the child, issued DepEd  Order No.  40, s. 2012 titled Policy Guidelines on Protecting
Children in School from Abuse,  Violence, Exploitation, Discrimination, Bullying and Other Forms of Abuse, also known  as the DepEd Child Protection Policy.

5. The Department fully recognizes the rights of the child and takes proactive measure to uphold not only the right of the child to special  protection but  also the other rights of the child in the context of basic education.

6. Hence, the Department created two separate but coordinating mechanisms, titled the Child Protection Unit, to strengthen the implementation of the DepEd Child Protection Policty, and the Child Rights in Education Desk, to help ensure that the rights of the child in basic education are respected, protected, promoted, and fulfilled in, and by, the Department.
 

CREATION OF THE CHILD PROTECITON UNIT (CPU) AND THE CHILD RIGHTS IN EDUCATION DESK (CREDe) in the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DEPED)


I.  RATIONALE
  1. Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all (Article XIV, Sec. 1). More particularly, the Constitution mandates the State to establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society (Article XIV, Sec. 2).
  2. The needs of children are multi-dimensional. Their education should therefore be multi-faceted, in consonance with the duty of the State to promote and protect their holistic development through the promotion of their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being, and to recognize their vital role in nation-building (1987 Constitution, Article II, Sec.13).
  3. The 1987 Constitution and other domestic and international laws, primarily the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, guarantee a range of rights of children to promote their over-all well-being. Among the rights of the child in basic education are the right to education, right against discrimination, right to health, right to participation and to have one's views heard, right to religion, right to rest and play, and right to protection against all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and maltreatment (1987 Constitution, Article XV, Section 3(2)
  4. The Department, in upholding the right of the child to special protection and reiterating its policy of zero tolerance for any act of abuse and violence against the child, issued DepEd Order (DO) No. 40, s. 2012 on the "Policy and Guidelines on Protecting Children in School from Abuse, Violence, Exploitation, Discrimination, Bullying and Other Forms of Abuse", otherwise known as the "DepEd Child Protection Policy".
  5. The Department fully recognizes the rights of the child and takes proactive measures to uphold not only the right of the child to special protection but also the other rights of the child in the context of basic education.
  6. The Department, as a bearer, is mandated to exert every effort to uphold the rights of children in basic education, promote their welfare, and enhance their opportunities for a useful and happy life (Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7610 (1992). Sec. 2; Presidential Decree 603 (1974), Article 1). The best interest of children shall be the paramount and primary consideration of the Department in all actions concerning children. (UNCRC, Art. 3 [1]; R.A. No. 7610, Sec. 2).
  7. Thus, to strengthen the implementation of the DepEd Child Protection Policy and to help ensure that the rights of the child in the basic education context are respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in, and by, the Department, the Department adopts this policy.
II. SCOPE

       8. This DepEd Order covers the creation of a Child Protection Unit (CPU) under the supervision of the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office (OUFO), and the Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe) under the supervision of the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs (OULA). It lays down the offices' functions and identifies the offices at the Regional Office and Schools Division Office that shall lead in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of these governance levels as provided for in DepEd issuances on child protection.

III. POLICY STATEMENT

       9. In pursuance of the holistic development of the child, the Department envisions child-centered and child-caring basic education schools, learning centers, and offices, which respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the dignity and rights of the child in basic education so they may lead productive and happy lives as they participate in nation-building. For this purpose, the Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe) is hereby created.

       10. A significant right of the child in basic education is the right to protection from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and maltreatment, Thus, the Department issued DO No. 40, s. 2012 or the Child Protection Policy to promote and maintain zero tolerance to all forms of violence against children. To establish a mechanism to fully operationalize, implement, and coordinate programs, projects, and activities pertaining to child protection, the Child Protection Unit (CPU) is hereby created.

IV. FUNCTIONS

       11. The CREDe, using a child rights and legal lens, shall perform the following functions pertaining to policy formulation, monitoring and reporting of the implementation of the rights of the child in basic education, and building awareness and advocacy of these rights:

              a. Establish and strengthen the framework to realize the rights of the child in, and through, the Department;
              b. Act as the lead unit of the Department to flesh out and articulate the standards and meaning of child rights in basic education, as embodied in various legal instruments;
              c. Contribute to the development of legislation, policy, standards, and rules to enhance respect for, protection, promotion, and fulfillment of child rights in, and by, the Deparmtnet;
              d. Act as integrating unit for the policy formulation, monitoring, and reporting of child rights under domestic and international law, including the UN CRC;
              f. In coordination with various offices of the Department, give due emphasis to integration of child rights in the basic education curriculum, instruction, and assessment;
              g. Advocate, create awareness, and build knowledge and capacity in relation to the rights of the child in basic education, through child rights education among the various stakeholders of the Department; and
              h. Initiate and coordinate cooperation or partnership activities within the Department, and with other national government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, international organizations, and other key education partners and stakeholders in the policy formulation, monitoring and reporting of child rights implementation in the Department, and building awareness and advocacy of these rights.

CHILD PROTECTION UNIT (CPU)

       12. The CPU shall perform the following functions pertaining to the right of the child to protection in basic education:

              a. In coordination with the CREDe, formulate policies concerning all matters pertaining to the right of the child in basic education to protection from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and maltreatment, consistent with the overall framework of the Department to realize child rights in basic education;
 
              b. Serve as the lead office of the Department in planning, implementing, coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating programs, projects and activities, including intervention mechanisms, related to child protection at different governance levels of the Department;

              c. In coordination with various offices of the Department, give due emphasis to integration of child protection in the basic education curriculum, instruction and assessment;

              d. Initiate and coordinate cooperation or partnership activities with other national government organizations, civil-society organizations, international organizations, and other key education partners and stakeholders in the implementation of the child protection policies, programs, and activities of the Department; and

              e. Establish and maintain a monitoring and reporting mechanism for all child protection-related concerns.

V.  ORGANIZATION

     Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe)

      13. The CREDe shall be under the supervision of the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs. Programs, projects, and activities pertaining to the fulfillment of various rights of the child shall be lodged in, managed and implemented by, the Offices in the Department whose mandates cover the respective rights (e.g. for the implementation of the right to health, the school-based feeding program shall be lodged in the School Health Division; for the implementation of the right to protection from all forms of violence and abuse, the Child Protection Unit shall be under the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office).

       14. For its initial year of operation, the CREDe shall be established at the DepEd Central Office. Subsequently, CREDe counterparts in the Legal Units in the Regional Offices and Schools Division Offices may be organized, upon issuance of a Department Order for this purpose.

       Child Protection Unit (CPU)

       15. The CPU shall be under the supervision of the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office (OUFO).

       16. At the Regional Level, the lead office for child protection shall be the Education Support Services Division (ESSD).

       17. At the Division Level, the lead office for child protection shall be the Schools Governance and Operations Divisions (SGOD).

       18. At the School Level, the Child Protection Committde, created under DO. No. 40, s. 2012 or the Child Protection Policy, shall be the structure for planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, reporting and coordination of child protection concerns.

        Personnel for CREDe and CPU

       19. For their initial operation, the Department may integrate the functions of the CREDe and CPU in the functions of existing personnel and/or reassign or detail personnel to the CREDe and CPU from the Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices. The Department may also engage the services of consultants and technical assistants on a contractual basis or under other arrangements, in accordance with applicable laws and rules.

VI.  MANDATE TO FORMULATE AND REVIEW POLICIES

        20.  The CREDe and CPU are mandated to formulate policies and guidelines on the rights of the child in basic education and child protection, respectively, and to lead the review of DO. No. 40 s. 2012, DO No. 55, s. 2013 or the "Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10627, Otherwise Known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013", and other policies of the Department related to child rights and child protection, as may be necessary.

VII.  MONITORING and EVALUATION

        21. The OUFO and OULA shall continuously gather feedback on the implementation of this DepEd Order from all concerned internal and external stakeholders. These offices shall conduct a periodic review every three years of this policy to further enhance its provisions and effectiveness.

VIII.  REFERENCES
  • 1987 Philippine Constitution
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC)
  • Republic Act No. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act)
  • Presidential Decree No. 603 (The Child and Youth Welfare Code)
  • DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012 (DepEd Child Protection Policy)
  • DepEd Order No. 55, s. 2013 (Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA No. 10627 Anti-Bullying Act of 2013

IX.   REPEALING CLAUSE

       22. All prior Deparment Orders or other issuance, or provisions thereof which are inconsistent with this Department Order are hereby repealed, revised, or modified accordingly.

       23. Specifically, the following sections of DO No. 40, s. 2012 and DO No. 55, s. 2013 are revised to read as follows:

DO No. 40, s. 2012

a. Section 4(C): Devise programs, campaigns, and activities through the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office, to raise consciousness, mobilize and educate the students, parents, teachers, community, local government units and other stakeholders in addressing child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, and bullying.

b. Section 4 (D); Formulate a system of standard reporting, prescribe standards and procedures for monitoring and evaluation, maintain the central repository of Regional Reports on incidents and cases of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other acts of abuse, and prepare a consolidated National Report through the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office which shall furnish a copy of the National Report to the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs.

c. Section 5 (B): Consolidate reports on incidents and cases of the Division Offices within the Region and submit a Regional Report to the Office of the Undersecretary for field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office.

d. Section 16(F): The Regional Directors shall periodically monitor and keep a record of all reported child abuse cases, and submit a final consolidated regional report (Annex "A") to the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office.

e. Section 16(H): The Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office shall submit an annual report to the Secretary.

DO No. 55, s. 2013

a. Section 8.1(C): Maintain a central repository of reports, and prepare a National Report, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office, on an annual aggregated basis, focusing on the number of incidents of bullying, results of investigations undertaken to verify the details made in complaints, and the sanctions imposed.

b. Section 8.2 (B): Review all anti-bullying policies adopted by public and private schools forwarded by Division Offices as required by the Act and submit consolidated reports to the Central Office through the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associated Coordinating Office.

c. Section 8.3 (C): Consolidate reports on incidents and cases of the Division Offices within the Region and submit a Regional Report to the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DepEd Employees Associations Coordinating Office.
 
X.  EFFECTIVITY

         24. There shall be a transitory period of three months from effectivity of this Department Order to organize the CREDe and CPU

         25. This Department Order shall take effect immediately upon Issuance.


- by Department of Education (DEPED) Philippines
 

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"CHILD PROTECTION UNIT AND THE CHILD RIGHTS IN EDUCATION DESK IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION" was written by under the Schools / Universities category. It has been read 209 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 27 January 2021.
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