DepEd stays committed to protecting children online

Published July 8, 2019, 12:25 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Merlina Hernando Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) reiterated its commitment to protect the interest of children online by teaching them digital life skills.

Department of Education (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Education (MANILA BULLETIN)

DepEd, together with its partners Stairway Foundation and the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), recently received an excellence award for the #BeCyberSafe Project during the Third Annual Philippines OpenGov Leadership Forum.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones expressed her appreciation for the recognition, which she believed will bolster the efforts of the

Department in “ensuring the best interest of the learners.” She also expressed gratitude to IMMAP and Stairway Foundation for their “unwavering commitment to help DepEd in safeguarding the cybersafety of our children.”

For DepEd OIC-Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Josephine Maribojoc, the department teaches children digital life skills through the #BeCybersafe Project. “We cannot build impenetrable fences around children in a borderless cyberworld, which they enter on their own most of the time,” she said. “Instead, we equip them with defenses,” she added.

Maribojoc added that there was a need to “empower children to be responsible and equipped netizens themselves” because this is the “best tool to promote the best interest of the child online.”

Launched in November last year, the #BeCyberSafe Project aims to further educate learners, teachers, parents, the school, and the community on how children can be safe in the online world. The project consists of three major components, namely, Project for Keeps, Dalir-Eskwela, and Chatbot.

The “Project for Keeps” is a social media movement and the awareness raising component of the program, while “Dalir-Eskwela” features a range of educational materials including videos, brochures, and posters that discuss issues on cybersafety. The “Chatbot” – which is still in its development phase – is a social media page with a messaging feature which will be used as a helpline where child protection issues faced in the cyberspace may be reported and addressed.

The #BeCyberSafe project also ensures that the scope of child protection extends to the cybersphere.

IMMAP Executive Director Aye Ubaldo, Stairway Foundation Senior Advocacy Officer Ysrael Diloy, and DepEd Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Focal Person for Child Protection Edna Ramirez received the award during the ceremonies held at the New World Hotel in Makati.

The recognition of excellence was aimed at honoring government agencies for their outstanding achievement in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to engage and empower citizens, simplify and improve the clientele’s experience, enhance people’s collaboration with the government, and integrate and update existing systems.

Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence 2019 further touted the award as a celebration of the Philippine government agencies that are “striving toward excellence in strategies, policies, and initiatives.”