Verbal abuse is most reported complaint in DepEd’s helpline
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Sara Duterte, secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), on Monday said that 1,709 total reports of different forms of student abuse have so far been received by the department since November 2022.
According to Duterte during the 31st National Children’s Month Culminating Program, cases of verbal abuse led with the highest number of reports received since the DepEd established the Telesafe Contact Center Helpline in November 2022.
The helpline was established as part of the agency’s Learner Rights and Protection Office (LRPO) with the aim to offer immediate assistance, intervention, and referral to any reported incidents of learner rights and protection violations.
“As of November 27, 2023, our Helpline has received a total number of 1,709 reports, with verbal abuse committed against our learners ranking as the highest, followed by sexual abuse and cyberbullying,” Duterte said.
In a chance interview, Duterte bared that the LRPO has already placed certain mechanisms down to the school level to resolve students’ complaints.
“Meron tayong mechanisms sa loob ng DepEd, sa loob ng LRPO na binababa natin doon sa school level for resolution iyong reklamo ng mga bata,” said Duterte.
(We have mechanisms within the Department of Education, within the LRPO, that we bring down to the school level to address the complaints of the children.)
In fact, the DepEd has already filed administrative complaints against some personnel over student abuse, said Duterte.
“Nagfi-file po tayo ng administrative complaints sa loob ng DepEd, and if the case warrants, the filing of a criminal case,” said education chief.
(We file administrative complaints within the Department of Education, and if the case merits it, we also initiate the filing of a criminal case.)
“Lumalapit po tayo sa Philippine National Police at nagpapatulong po tayo sa pag-file ng kaso,” she added.
(We approach the Philippine National Police and seek assistance in filing the case.)
She then reminded teaching and non-teaching personnel to ensure that students will have a “healthy safe space” inside their schools.