August 12, 2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd) strongly condemns the sexual abuse committed against four elementary school teachers from Ocampo, Camarines Sur, who were preparing for the upcoming School Year 2022-2023, which is set to open on August 22.

We denounce any acts of violence and injustice towards our teachers, who have been showing their dedication and effort to deliver equitable, resilient, inclusive, and quality education to our learners.

The Department has already instructed the field office concerned to coordinate with the authorities to assist them throughout the investigation. The Department will provide the necessary aid to the victims, including financial assistance and psychosocial intervention.

We hope our local authorities in Camarines Sur will conduct a swift investigation and bring justice to the family of the victims. We likewise call on our partner agencies in preparation for the upcoming school opening, especially the Philippine National Police (PNP), to protect the welfare of our teachers, learners, and parents inside and outside the premises of our schools.

Furthermore, the Department is currently drafting a Joint Memorandum Circular with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to emphasize using the Special Education Fund (SEF) to hire at least one security personnel per school and for the repair and construction of school buildings.

The said issuance will also prohibit the use of schools as isolation facilities, quarantine facilities and long-term evacuation centers, so that the use of our school facilities and classrooms will be limited to our learners and school personnel.

The Department and our partners are committed to make our schools a safe space for our learners and teachers.