March 23, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd) vehemently condemns the alarming rate of communist rebel activities in Masbate, causing undue learning disruption in the province.

These acts of terrorism perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) have caused trauma to learners and school personnel who witnessed the senseless violence.

DepEd remains defiant against these fear-mongering tactics of terrorists as the agency commits to deliver basic education to all, even in disadvantaged areas.

The DepEd Regional Office V and SDO Masbate are tasked to ensure that learning continuity shall take place. As such, there will be no blanket suspension of classes. The suspension of in-person classes and immediate shift to blended learning shall be left to the discretion of the school heads/principals, upon due assessment and proper coordination with the concerned LGU — keeping in mind the peace and order situation, as well as the mental health of learners and school personnel.

The Vice President and Secretary of Education, Sara Z. Duterte, and the Army Division Commander have open communications lines, and the latter has committed to protect our school personnel and learners in the area.

The Department supports the Philippine Army, and the VP-Secretary has also expressed her intention to visit the affected areas in Masbate once it is determined by the authorities that her presence will not disrupt ongoing operations.

We invite the public to remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism and violence.

Thank you.