The Department of Education (DepEd) has sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation and will be looking into the alleged harassment happening in the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA).
In a statement released on July 12, Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio requested the investigation body to provide a comprehensive report "as soon as possible".
The alleged abuses in the public school first came to light after Vice News, a New York-based news organization, published an in-depth article detailing its students' experiences of sexual, verbal and emotional harrassment.
According to DepED, it has asked for the cooperation of its Child Protection Unit and Child Rights in Education Desk in conducting the investigation.
PHSA has also informed the department that it is examining the information on the matter and that any concerns and complaints on the abuses should be communicated to its Committee on Decorum and Investigation.
"The Department and PHSA Administration are currently reviewing the school's existing policies and strengthening its internal mechanisms to ensure the safety of the students inside the premises of the instutition," DepEd stated.
"The Department would like to reiterate that the agency does not tolerate abuses in any form. Under the strong leadership of Secretary Sara Duterte, DepEd will continuously promote a healthy and safe environment for our learners and teachers," it added.
During her inaugural speech, Duterte highlighted that child abuse is one of the issues that she would like to put an end to, along with other problems such as bullying, bad parenting, abadonment, and gender discrimination.