DepEd Order 40 Series of 2012: Child Protection Policy Philippines

DepEd Order 40 series of 2012, also known as the Child Protection Policy, is a significant step towards protecting children in the Philippines from all forms of abuse, violence, and exploitation. It aims to create a safe and nurturing environment for students by promoting positive discipline and fostering a culture of respect, understanding, and empathy.

This Department of Education policy provides a robust framework for preventing, addressing, and rectifying these issues while clearly outlining the duties of all stakeholders involved. It tackles the different types of abuse committed against children. It also contains preventive, protective, and remedial measures to address all forms of child abuse, violence, bullying, discrimination, exploitation, and other similar acts.

The order not only aims to protect children but also seeks to cultivate a nurturing and respectful environment in which every child can thrive. The guidelines cover all educational institutions under the supervision of DepEd, including public and private schools. It also applies to all personnel within these institutions, including teachers, administrators, non-teaching staff, volunteers, and even parents or guardians involved in school activities.

DepEd Order 40 Series of 2012 Child Protection Policy Philippines


Children, as the future leaders of society, deserve an environment that fosters growth, encourages exploration, and above all, ensures their safety. However, the sad reality is that many children subjected to various forms of abuse and harm, including in places where they should feel most secure: their homes, parks, and especially schools. Recognizing this, the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines has taken decisive action to safeguard children’s rights and welfare in educational environments through DepEd Order 40.

This landmark policy is a vital step towards creating a more secure and nurturing environment for children in the Philippines. It provides clear guidelines to help prevent, detect, and address all forms of abuse, violence, bullying, discrimination, exploitation, and other similar acts committed against children in schools.

Violence and abuse against children may happen anywhere, be it at home, park, or even at school. Bullying is another unforgivable act often experienced by school-aged children committed by other students. In the school setting, teaching and non-teaching personnel may also inflict abuse or violence against children as a form of discipline. In some cases, school personnel may commit child exploitation and discrimination. With that said, the Department of Education (DepEd) developed DepEd Order 40 to prevent any form of abuse against children.

What is DepEd Order 40

Also known as the DepEd Child Protection Policy, the DepEd Order 40 Series of 2012 is the proposed action of the Philippine government to protect children in school from abuse, bullying, discrimination, exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse. Under the 1987 Constitution, the nation must assist in protecting children’s rights, including proper nutrition and care. In addition, the nation shall provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse, cruelty, exploitation, neglect, violence, and other circumstances detrimental to their development.

While cases of abuse are the results of difficult circumstances faced by teaching and non-teaching personnel, DepEd iterates a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of child abuse and exploitation. Hence, the Department of Education (DepEd) developed the Child Protection Policy and Guidelines in cooperation with civil society and teacher groups, public and private school representatives, child protection advocates, and other international agencies.


Here are the following objectives of DepEd Order 40:

  • Protect the rights of children and ensure proper care and nutrition.
  • Prevent all forms of abuse, discrimination, exploitation, violence, corporal punishment, and other similar acts against children.
  • Protect children from any acts of bullying.
  • Encourage educational institutions to promote patriotism, nationalism, love, and respect for humanity.
  • Educational institutions should also boost ethical and spiritual values, teach the duties and rights of citizenship, and assist in developing personal discipline and moral character.
  • Promote equal opportunity and perform preventive measures to encourage children to attend school regularly and minimize dropout rates.
  • Ensure all educational institutions, whether public or private school, have a conducive learning environment for children


This policy covers the following individuals:

  • Children enrolled in the basic education system
  • School personnel, both teaching and non-teaching staff
  • School visitors, such as parents and guardians

Meanwhile, the policy and guidelines of this order should be disseminated and implemented by all DepEd personnel, including Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Bureau Directors, Regional Directors, Schools Division, Chiefs of Divisions, Centers, Heads of Unit, and Heads of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Also Read: DepEd Government Programs & Projects for Filipinos 

DepEd Order 40: Forms of Abuse against Children

With its primary goal to protect the rights of children, DepEd Order 40 aims to prevent the following forms of abuse:

A. Child Abuse

It pertains to child maltreatment, habit or not, such as physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Child abuse also involves emotional maltreatment, cruelty, and neglect. DepEd also considers abuse any act or words that demean or degrade the child’s dignity and worth as a human being. The policy also considers abuse to children the unreasonable deprivation of basic survival needs, like shelter, food, and medical treatment.

B. Discrimination

Under the DepEd Order 40, any act of restriction, preference, distinction, or exclusion based on age, sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, politics, opinion, disease, or disability is child discrimination.

C. Child Exploitation

DepEd defines child exploitation as using children for someone else’s profit, advantage, or satisfaction, which often results in cruel, dangerous, or unjust treatment. Any act of exploitation hampers the normal mental or physical health of the child. Moreover, it disrupts their moral, educational, and social-emotional development. It involves cases of misuse, manipulation, or ill-treatment and may be in the form of sexual or economic exploitation.

D. Violence

All types of violence committed against children in schools, whether physical, psychological, or sexual, are covered by this policy. Violence refers to an act, habitual or not, committed by teaching and non-teaching personnel or school administrators, resulting in physical, psychological, or sexual trauma or pain. Other acts of violence are also covered by this policy, such as assault, harassment, coercion, or unlawful detention.

E. Bullying

There are two types of bullying covered in the DepEd Order 40. The first one is bullying or peer abuse. It refers to intentional aggressive behavior directed at a victim who may be weak, younger, with a disability, vulnerable, lacks confidence, or outnumbered. Whether habit or not, an act of bullying committed by a student to another or several students in a place of learning or school setting. This act may result in humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and physical or mental abuse.

The second type is cyberbullying. It refers to the acts of bullying stated in the previous paragraph. But it’s performed using technology or electronics, such as text, chat, instant messaging, email, internet, social media, or other online platforms.

F. Other Acts of Abuse by a Pupil, Student, or Learner

Aside from that, the policy covers other acts of grave abuse committed by a pupil, student, or learner towards another pupil, student, or learner of the same school that doesn’t fall under the definition of bullying.

G. Corporal Punishment

DepEd defines this abuse as a form of punishment or penalty inflicted for an alleged or actual offense imposed by a school administrator, teacher, adult, or child as a means of discipline, control, or training. It may involve degrading, humiliating, or physical punishment, such as beating or hitting a child with or without an instrument, pulling hair, forcing to perform damaging or painful acts, deprivation of physical needs, confinement, verbal abuse, or permanent confiscation of students personal property.

DepEd Guidelines on Order 40 PDF File Document Download

If you want to review the full text of DepEd Order 40, you can download it from the Department of Education website or visit its office in your area. The guidelines are available in PDF format for easy access and dissemination. We have provided the PDF file download here for your convenience here – https://deped-order-40-series-of-2012-child-protection-policy-guidelines-rules.pdf

You can check out the full document file

Difference Between DepEd Order 49 vs DepEd Order 40

If you are wondering what the difference is between DepEd Order 49 and DepEd Order 40, here’s a quick comparison. Both orders aim to protect the rights of children in educational institutions. However, DepEd Order 49 specifically focuses on professionalism for teachers and workforce in the education sector.

Meanwhile, DepEd Order 40 tackles ALL forms of abuse against children and sets guidelines for its prevention and handling within schools. Both orders work hand in hand to ensure a safe and conducive learning environment for all children in the Philippines.

How DSWD and DepEd Work Together

To successfully implement DepEd Order 40, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) works closely with DepEd. DSWD is responsible for providing social welfare services to children who are victims or at risk of abuse. They also provide support services such as counseling, therapy, and protective custody for abused children.

On the other hand, DepEd is responsible for creating policies and guidelines that promote child protection in schools and implementing these measures in their educational institutions. They also work closely with DSWD to ensure that cases of abuse are properly handled, and necessary interventions are provided to protect the rights and well-being of children.

Together, DSWD and DepEd strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for all children in the Philippines, free from abuse and discrimination. By working together, they can effectively address cases of child abuse and ensure that every child’s rights are protected. So if you suspect or witness any form of abuse against a child, do not hesitate to report it to DSWD or DepEd immediately.


For more information on DepEd Order 40, please watch the video below:

As stated in the video, the Child Protection Policy, mandates the state to assist in protecting children’s rights and offer them special protection from all forms of abuse. This policy encourages educational institutions to instill nationalism, patriotism, and other values, such as love and respect for humanity. This rule also follows the Family Code of the Philippines and Presidential Decree 603. It gives special parental authority to school administrators and teachers, including responsibility for authorized activities within and outside the school premises.

This policy covers children enrolled in the basic education system. It also covers school personnel and visitors, from school heads, teaching, and non-teaching staff to parents, guardians, media, suppliers, or bidders. Additionally, the policy protects children from all forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, psychological, and other harmful conditions. The policy discusses the duties and responsibilities of relevant institutions and individuals to ensure its implementation.


In summary, the DepEd Order 40 Series of 2012 is a significant policy in protecting children in the school setting and preventing any abuse against them committed by other students and teaching and non-teaching personnel. Furthermore, it will serve as a guideline to teachers on how to properly educate and positively discipline children without using violence or abuse.

Therefore, school personnel, parents, guardians, and students should learn about the policy, guidelines, and rules to help in the protection of children’s rights.

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