The police in Metro Manila are set to secure students from all forms of crime, including bullying, as millions of students troop back to schools today.
Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Metro Manila Police chief, said 7,153 policemen will be deployed in the schools in Metro Manila, including more than 2,000 cops who will man police assistance desks.
“This [assistance desk] will be a place where both students and parents could go to report any untoward incident, particularly cases of bullying and other street crimes, Eleazar told the Philippine News Agency 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.”
Chairman Danilo Lim of the Metro Manila Development Authority has ordered the deployment of more than 2,000 traffic personnel to ensure a safe and orderly reopening of the classes in Metro Manila today.
He said 2,500 traffic personnel will be deployed before 5 a.m. on June 3 and the succeeding days, when other schools start to reopen to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the metropolis.
“We shall field traffic personnel in traffic-prone areas around the metropolis and monitor the traffic situation on the roads leading to the schools so we can easily augment personnel when needed, Lim said.
Eleazar said they were particularly keeping an eye on out-of-school youth whose modus operandi was to threaten elementary and high school students if they would not yield in to their demands. In most cases, he said, out-of-school bullies usually asked for money aside from taking food from their targets.
But Eleazar echoed PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde who said police intervention on bullying cases would only come with the go-signal from school authorities.
“We cannot just go inside any school. There must be coordination with school authorities,” Albayalde said.
Eleazar has instructed all police commanders to coordinate with school officials to come up with the best plan to protect students from bullies for the entire school year.
He said part of the coordination was to tap the village security officials to reinforce policemen.
Meanwhile, the Education departments in Taguig City and Pateros on Sunday kicked off their own anti-bullying campaign with the launching of the I-SABAC or Intensified Students Anti-Bullying Action Center.
George Tizon, chief education supervisor of DepEd TAPAT, said the I-SABAC was 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, 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 on the effects of bullying and which program can solve the problem.”
Tizon said the caravan also aimed to encourage students who are friends or classmates of victims of cybersex exploitation to report and inform the Education department through E-SABAC any form of harassment that students had suffered.
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, the internet and text messaging.
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 them 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.