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DepEd to create cyberbullying advocacy program for NCR

Photo: Unsplash/Thomas Park

Amid its move toward blended learning, the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR) will be launching an advocacy program on cyberbullying to safeguard students spending more time on social media for school.

According to DepEd-NCR Director Malcolm Garma, DepEd is working closely with various children’s organizations as it prepares to officially start the program.

This is not the first time that DepEd released a similar program. In 2016, it launched anti-cyberbullying lessons for Grades 5 to 6 Junior High School students, in cooperation with a non-profit child care organization Stairway Foundation Inc. (SFI), as part of its CyberSafe project.

Another initiative under the CyberSafe project was DepEd’s “Dalir-Eskwela”, a play on the Filipino words for finger (“daliri”) and school (“eskwela”), a video series which taught learners tips on how to navigate the Internet in a safe manner. Aside from cyberbullying, the videos also discussed topics such as online chatting, online gaming addiction, as well as online pornography. The videos came with a brochure for the reference of the students’ parents and guardians.

Under Republic Act No. 10627 or the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013”, all elementary and secondary schools are required to implement policies preventing and responding to acts of bullying. The law defines cyberbullying as “any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school.”

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Metro Manila, Cebu, and 10 other areas placed under GCQ until August 15

President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that Metro Manila will remain other general community quarantine (GCQ) until mid-August. He shared the news in a taped briefing aired on July 31, Friday.

Cebu City, on the other hand, which was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from June 15 to July 15 and under modified ECQ from July 16 to July 31, will be placed under GCQ until August 15. The city noted a total of 8,136 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 6,740 recoveries and 342 fatalities.

Meanwhile, 10 other areas in the country will be placed under GCQ as well, namely, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, as well as Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province. The rest of the Philippines will be under modified GCQ.

Barangays in Metro Manila and Region IV-A with high levels or 80 percent of localized transmission will be observing stringent localized lockdown, while hospitals in the same areas would be monitored closely by Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega for compliance with protocols. Local government units (LGUs) have been required to submit daily and weekly reports on data such as the number of active cases, cases in community isolation facilities and health facilities, as well as those being treated at home.

“Also part of the measures are stringent enforcement of minimum health standards, massive targeted testing, intensified tracing, and quarantine of close contacts, isolation of confirmed cases, and strict adherence to Oplan Kalinga Implementation,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

As of July 30, the DOH has recorded 89,374 cases of coronavirus, with 65,064 recoveries, and 1,983 deaths nationwide.

Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) noting that a vaccine would not be possible until at least 2021, Duterte expressed his hopes for a vaccine to be available by December 2020.