NCRPO assures safety of students as classes open on Monday

MANILA — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is all geared up to protect and secure students from all forms of crimes including bullying as millions of students troop back to schools on Monday.

Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO chief, said a total 7,153 policemen will be deployed in various schools in Metro Manila, including over 2,000 cops who will man police assistance desks.

“This (assistance desk) will be a place where both student and parents could go to report any untoward incident, particularly cases of bullying and other street crimes,” Eleazar said in an interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Sunday.

“I would like to rally everyone to close in on the vicinities of these schools. We have to secure all our pupils and students from criminals, such as pickpockets and snatchers,” he stressed.

Eleazar said they are particularly keeping an eye on out-of-school youth whose modus operandi is to threaten both elementary and high school students if they would not yield in to their demands. In most cases, he explained out-of-school bullies usually ask for money aside from taking food from their targets.

Eleazar, however, echoed PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde who clarified that police intervention on bullying cases only comes with the go-signal from school authorities.

“We cannot just go inside any school. There must be coordination with school authorities,” said Albayalde.

With this, Eleazar instructed all local police commanders to maintain coordination with school officials to come up with the best plan on how to protect the students from bullies for the entire school year.

Part of the coordination, according to him, is to tap the barangay (village) security officials to reinforce policemen in school-related untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) Taguig City and Pateros (TAPAT) on Sunday kicked off its own anti-bullying campaign with the launching of the I-SABAC (Intensified Students Anti-Bullying Action Center).

George P. Tizon, chief education supervisor of DepEd TAPAT said the I-SABAC is an improved version of E-SABAC which successfully tackled internet cyberbullying and other forms of bullying.

“E-SABAC means it’s the online or “electronic” version of the existing Students’ Anti-Bullying Action Center (SABAC) which the Taguig City government had earlier created to fight bullying in the city’s schools,” Tizon said.

“As school year 2019-2020 is about to start, DepEd Taguig City and Pateros launched the Anti-Bullying Caravan to educate parents and the community of the effects of bullying and which program can solve the problem, the most serious of which is child pornography or cybersex which is one of the most difficult issues facing Taguig city,” he added.

He said the caravan also aims to encourage students who are friends or classmates of victims of cybersex exploitation to report and inform DepEd through E-SABAC any form of harassment that students suffer.

He said the anti-bullying caravan with around 150 participants went around the city equipped with tarpaulin which displays information on how to report any form of bullying, including bullying through social media, internet and text messaging.

Participants in the Anti-Bullying Caravan include DepEd PENS Riders, teaching and non-teaching staff, Barangay Officials, student leaders and General Parent Teacher Association (GPTA) Officers.

Tizon said an Anti-Bullying Summit will be launched on the second week of June to involve student body organizations ’officers, GPTA officials, teacher leaders, and students to make the aware of the effects of bullying and how to address it, with emphasis on child cybersex exploitation and all forms of sexual harassment aimed at young people.

“This program is launched because of the aspirations of DepEd TAPAT Supt., Dr. Romulo B. Rocena and incoming Mayor Lino Cayetano to give solutions and put a stop to the bullying problems in the schools as well as cyber-sex exploitation that usually victimizes students or youth,” Tizon said.

DepEd Taguig’s E-SABAC is the very first DepEd anti-cyber bullying program which addresses bullying problems in the internet and social media. (PNA)