November 15, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) has been made aware of an incident regarding the presence of uniformed personnel equipped with their issued firearm inside one of the pilot schools of limited face-to-face classes.

Based on the field report, the police officers were part of the security detail of an LGU official who visited the school.

To prevent similar incidents in the future, we are reminding our field officials and school heads to strictly enforce our National Policy Framework on Learners and Schools as Zones of Peace (Department Order No. 32, s. 2019).

The policy clearly states that “Schools, as a general rule, should be free from the presence of armed combatants, whether they be from government forces or armed groups. Armed force protection units from government forces, if needed, shall be situated proximate to the school and not inside the school.”

We are thankful for the support of our various stakeholders and partners in our efforts to reintroduce face-to-face classes but we must always adhere to existing policies in schools.

DepEd shall work together with our stakeholders to ensure that our guidelines on Schools as Zones of Peace, where our learners feel safe, secured, and nurtured, are observed.