February 12, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) is one with the nation in celebrating Safer Internet Day.

Committed to establish a child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe, and motivating environment for our learners, we are continuously taking drastic steps to protect our children in the digital realm. This significant mission is even more critical to be addressed immediately as many of our learners use online learning to continue their education amidst the pandemic. We understand that prolonged exposure of children to the Internet may lead to untoward risks and incidents, especially if not guided by responsible adults.

Guided by our DepEd Child Protection Policy (D.O. No. 40, s. 2012) and in relation to D.O. No. 55, s. 2013 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Bullying Act, we have taken measures to ensure that learners are safe while they are studying online.

We have ramped up advocacy campaigns and organized a series of national summit and webinars to educate DepEd personnel, parents, guardians, caregivers, and learners on how to protect children from risks online.

In addition, we are consistently downloading support funds and conducting cyber safety for schools training of trainers and capacity-building activities in all DepEd regions.

Finally, we are taking steps to enhance our Child Protection Policy. We will soon issue a supplemental policy to address child protection issues in the context of home-based learning and homeschooling, after conducting a series of consultations with different education and child rights stakeholders in 2020 and considering the lessons and insights learned from one-quarter of implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).

As we move towards the future, utilizing the Internet for advancement in society is inevitable. Thus, everyone must safeguard the future generation from the lingering threats in the cyber realm.

DepEd enjoins other government institutions, local government units, media, sectoral leaders, community members, parents, and other stakeholders to stand with us today in creating a safer, friendlier, and better digital world for our children.