Staying true to the department’s mission of ensuring a child-friendly and safe environment for learners, the Department of Education Region IV-A CALABARZON officially released the Regional Child Protection Policy and Anti-Bullying (RCPPA) Manual for public schools, the very first localized regional manual of DepEd Order 40, s. 2012, otherwise known as the DepEd Child Protection Policy.

The RCPPA Manual was officially signed by DepEd CALABARZON top officials and immediately released for implementation on July 26.

“It is our hope that this contextualized RCPPA [Manual] will enable all of us to have clearer guides in ensuring that our push for quality, accessible, relevant and liberating basic education will become a reality in the lives of the youngsters we nurture,” former Regional Director and now Undersecretary Diosdado M. San Antonio said in his message for the manual.

Carlito D. Rocafort, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Regional Director expressed his gratitude to the Regional Legal Unit and the technical working group for their hard work in making the localized regional manual a reality during the orientation seminar on RCPPA Manual conducted at the Bulwagan ng Karangalan, DepEd CALABARZON Regional Office, Cainta on August 8.

 “We really believe that the child is the most important and the most precious resource of our organization. Kaya tayong lahat nandito po, kaya tayong lahat nabubuhay pa at may mga trabaho dahil dito sa mga bata,” Rocafort said.

Furthermore, Rocafort explained the need for the manual to be cascaded down to division and school officials in order to make sure that the guidelines stated in the manual are well-implemented in the field. He also added that although the manual is exclusive for public schools, private schools can use the RCPPA Manual as reference in crafting their student or school manual.

Meanwhile, Regional Child Protection Specialist Jocelyn L. Martin announced that the reports of the national monitoring of the Child Protection Policy (CPP) conducted by DepEd Central Office showed that Region IV-A has the best implementation of the policy in the country. However, there were still lapses that needed to be addressed like the awareness of non-teaching personnel in schools and the proper crafting of the school’s CPP manual. These issues led the region to create a localized regional policy.

It could be recalled that it was on August 30, 2018 when DepEd CALABARZON created the TWG composed of regional and division officials, school heads, attorneys, guidance counselors, teachers, and parents. The group met for several months, having long discussions and consultations on what should be written in the policy that would help promote the welfare of every child. (Ma. Joan Paula D. Dino, DepEd CALABARZON)