MANILA (Mabuhay) – The House Committee on the Welfare of Children has reported out for floor deliberation a bill promoting positive and non-violent discipline of kids.
House Committee on the Welfare of Children chairperson Zamboanga del Sur Representative Aurora Cerilles said House Bill 4907 would help secure children’s well-being and safety at home, school, workplace, and all other settings.
Cerilles said it is imperative to establish a legal framework that will protect the young Filipinos.
House Bill 4907 is in substitution of House Bill 155, authored by Tarlac Representative Susan Yap.
“Children, as future productive citizens of the country, need to be cared for in an environment that fosters positive reinforcement of behavior rather than making use of punishment to supposedly facilitate learning,” Yap said.
The measure prohibits any forms of corporal punishment, humiliating or degrading chastisement to children like kicking, slapping, pulling hair, twisting joints, dragging, forcing a child through the use of power, authority or threats, to perform physically painful or damaging acts, kneeling on stones, salt or pebbles, refusal to provide the child’s physical needs, tying up a child, verbal abuse, swearing or cursing, and making a child look or feel foolish in front of one’s peers or public by shaving hair.
The penalties under existing penal laws shall be imposed in the maximum period, except where a higher penalty is provided for under Act 3815, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, under Republic Act 7610, or under Republic Act 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, or arresto mayor in its maximum period.
If the penalty imposable for the act is only arresto menor or arresto mayor, the prosecutor may refer the accused to the local Social Welfare and Development Office (SWDO) for assessment and intervention such as seminars and counseling on children’s rights, positive and non-violent discipline of children, anger management, and referrals to other rehabilitative services.
The remedies available to the victim under Republic Act Nos. 7610 and 9262 shall be available to the child where applicable.
The measure also requires the respect and the right to privacy of the victim to cases of corporal punishment, in barangay, the police, school, public or private healthcare facility.
Whoever publishes or causes to be published, in any format, any identifying information of a victim or immediate family member of the victim, without consent, shall be penalized with a fine of not more than P200,000.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in consultation with the Commission on Women and Children (CWC), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), other relevant government agencies, LLGUs, NGOs, and at least two child focused organizations, shall promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the proposed Act.(MNS)