October 27, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) expresses its full support to the United Nations’ Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech.

Guided by international and national frameworks and policies on equality, DepEd recognizes the important role of education in addressing and building resilience against hate speech, which can cause grave implications to people, groups, or even nations.

In a high-level UNESCO Global Education Ministers Conference attended by various dignitaries and education ministers around the world last October 26, 2021, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reiterated key programs of DepEd in cultivating civil, dignified, and respectful communication in any form.

In support of the UN Strategy, Secretary Briones highlighted the Departments’ implementation of the strengthened Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education curriculum in the basic education system. Moreover, as proven by the experiences shared by our neighboring countries, the Secretary underscored the importance of GMRC for all learners, especially from Kinder to Grade 3. The Education Chief also mentioned the agency’s implementation of Anti-Bullying and Child Protection policies in schools to combat misinformation and disinformation. These institutionalized efforts were designed and stringently implemented to protect and educate all Filipino learners from the challenges posed bythe current communication landscape.

In this age of social media and the 24hour news cycle when conflicting information, fake news and misrepresentations proliferate, critical thinking is a quintessential skill that must be encouraged and fosteredby all sectors of our society.

The Department should not stand alone in the fight against violence, hate speech and discrimination. Thus, we call on our teachers, personnel, parents, learners, and partners to help us maintain civility and decency, virtually and offline. Let us always promote love, respect, understanding, and equality, despite our differences.

Hate speech and discrimination – on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, political belief and age – must have no place in our homes, in our classrooms, and most importantly, in our democratic society.