Anti-Planking Act of 2011 filed by Rep. Winnie Castelo

Rep Winnie Castelo denounced planking in street protest action. Rep. Castelo feared “that planking will be used as a template of subsequent street rallies or protest actions initiated by students to express redress of grievances against the status quo.”

Photo via AP

” The parent in me tells me that this precedent in the case of the this massive transport strike where militant street protesters who are students of various schools have to lie down or serve as “planks” across the road to disrupt what should be normal traffic could just be very dangerous in the future. Life and limb are pretty much at risks here were unbelieving bus drivers or law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways “, Castelo strongly pointed out.

In his proposed bill, Anti-Planking Act of 2011, the Explanatory Note of his legislative measure said, ” Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed if these similar protest actions will have as a scheme and scene otherwise warm and living bodies laid down across street highways as though they were offerings to the gods “.

Here is his bill:


September 20th, 2011

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the ” Anti-Planking Act of 2011 “.

SEC. 2. A universal Code of Student Conduct is hereby prescribed where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.

SEC. 3. Under this Act, planking is when a student or group of students lies face down in unusual locations especially in streets or other public places, keeping the hands along the body and the feet outstretched and especially where such act is meant as a form of redress of grievance against government.

SEC. 4 Every bonafide student from any school, college or university shall conduct himself with high degree of discipline and propriety.

SEC. 5. The Department of Education in the case of elementary and high school students and the Commission on Higher Education in the case of college students shall draft a universal Code of Student Conduct to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Further, DepEd and CHED, respectively shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to effectively carry out intent and purpose of this Act.

SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect ninety (90) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation.


from Rep Castelo Site

Here are some twitter reactions that think ” The Anti-Planking Act of 2011 is even more useless and absurd than the act of planking itself ” and “there are other laws that needed to be enacted before anti-planking: RHB, FOI, Sharks Fin Ban. But planking? ”

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a social media practitioner with over 9 years experience in blogging, citizen advocacy and online media publishing. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good. She is the editor of Blog Watch ( and the features editor of the Philippine Online Chronicles (, a platform for alternative viewpoints and a synthesizer of ideas. She writes about good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and digital citizenship . She also blogs at her personal blogs : (parenting) , (recipes), (gadgets) and (lifestyle).


Organization affiliation includes Scrap Pork Network. Family friends with Senators Pia Cayetano and Senator Alan P. Cayetano.

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  1. all I can say, SERIOUSLY?,  Though the constitution guarantees equal opportunity in government, I think we should consider putting qualification for all elected officials, factory worker have qualifications, is it unfair, if put qualification to those who run or manage a country….just a thought!

  2. Anti-planking bill – a cursory view. ‘Anti-Planking Act of 2011’ as read in House Bill No. 5316 has just been blest with public attention never before seen.
    As soon as it took off, it hit the chart as the top trending topic in
    the Philippines and to swing back as the third most-talked about theme
    worldwide in the social media networking site, Twitter. …
    One Carlo Ople opines that it is just a matter of time how this
    phenomenal social contagion spread. In short, it has reached unforeseen
    viral proportion as to be posted in Sunday New York Times Magazine if
    by way of a comic and the Washington Post, not to mention in many other
    online sites to the point of ‘notoriety’. A growing negative
    perception seems to be taking shape, albeit, more from a single sector,
    call it, the Filipino youth from all over the globe. But that more
    likely indicates how, as a fad or a game, planking is revered by a whole
    universe of youngsters, plankers and all. Understandably,
    when a youngster hears that, however he may have missed first reading
    the bill, its explanatory note, and the press statement of the author,
    the immediate reaction translates into a resistance game. But
    perhaps, if that youngster, planker or not, only gets to hear the news
    from the horse’s mouth, in a manner of speaking, this negative mindset
    might be quickly obliterated. Besides, Twitter is about twitting which
    is not necessarily synonymous with ‘thinking first before clicking’ (the
    keyboard). Be that as it may, it will be instructive to go
    over the materials made available. The bill’s main text, the bill’s
    explanatory note (an abstract), and the press statement that was rolled
    out are but the three items that one disinterested reader should have at
    hand to arrive at a more enlightened understanding. From the
    outline, the negative global response to Castelo’s ‘Anti-Planking Act’
    is a social epidemic of sorts, viral if you may, that does not have to
    have a cure any more than efforts by those in support of the legislative
    measure should also find space in the reading chart to say their piece. Let this piece be one.
    Something happened in the streets of Espana in Sampaloc, Manila that
    saw some twenty human planks rolled out to block, presumably, the
    otherwise normal traffic at that road turnabout. Planking in this
    particular case digressed from the common reason why its enthusiasts do
    planking in the first place. This self-satisfying art where
    practitioners find personal fulfillment is reinvented to be the message
    itself in radical or militant social upheavals. And it was
    as if these student protesters who did the planking perform the
    photo-requiring act as a sign that they sympathize with PISTON, the
    organization that launched the mass transport strike which in turn
    caused humungous but undue traffic inimical to public order and safety.
    With this in mind, perhaps, Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo thought of
    drafting a measure lest this scene might repeat itself in the future to
    the point that unforeseen and fatal consequences might arise from it –
    especially so if soon adopted as an acceptable form of free speech or
    expression. Except that the author thinks otherwise and some,
    though quite a few for now, have ‘blogged’ their views on the bill
    appreciative of the salient points raised therein by the author. So who should really cry wolf? What really caused the phenomenal viral epidemic as though one tiny idea invaded the inner recesses of the “Big Brain”?
    At bottom, the bill is to my mind, about a societal concern which could
    be expressed by anyone, a parent at best, who gets to see in the
    newspapers pictures of people serving as living planks in national
    highways in order to prevent, purposively, all sorts of vehicles from
    crossing a turnabout road. Is it unfair to be concerned enough?
    Let us proceed. In the main text of the bill, a Code of Student
    Conduct shall be prescribed for use in all schools, colleges, and
    universities. And Dep Ed takes care of this job in the case of
    elementary and high school students while CHED in the case of college
    or university students. Is there anything wrong with that so far?
    A code of conduct of whatsoever form is of course always in service of a
    desired brand of discipline and propriety that any bonafide student
    should give heed to or violations thereof shall be a valid basis for
    suspension to dismissal depending on the gravity of offense. Thus if a
    student violates what the school or agency of government prohibits, he
    may have to be slapped with administrative sanctions. Is this wrong?
    Planking, just planking, is purposively covered in the bill if it is
    occasioned by a street rally or similar protest action as a form of
    redress of grievance. This seems to be the single and only
    conditionality that the bill proposes to take into account. This is one
    important point that vibrant detractors should not miss. It is
    clear that the bill’s author does not intend to push planking as an art
    to the archives. Nor does he intend to inject poison into that
    constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of expression. This anti-planking
    bill is not intended to shelve this highest fundamental freedom in a
    democracy. Planking as art, fad, trend or craze remains. It was never under siege.
    In the name of safety to life and limb, the bill throws its moorings.
    And whatever punishment or penalty implied in violation of the bill vis a
    vis appropriate sanctions is something for either Dep Ed or CHED to
    prescribe when it issues the pertinent rules and regulations to carry
    out the provision of the Act. From where I stand, it seems
    difficult to see what awesome germ or virus must have carried with it
    the contagious illusion that HB 5316 is a fascist move, its release as
    it were, occasioned by the anniversary of martial law. In that
    universe called Twitter, most anyone seems to have really thrown their
    weight – and even curse or swear words – were thrown in the path
    possibly degrading of Congress if not to the author of the proposed
    measure. Truth belabored, bills are mere proposals from
    anyone of Congress (either House of Representatives or Senate) that go
    through a long if stringent process of First Reading, Second Reading and
    Third and Final Reading. Further legislative rituals follow at that
    point until the time it goes to the President for signature if likely
    approved and so on. In short, any bill at all, to include HB 5316, is part of the territory.
    It bears watching where the public debate leads lead to and how it
    turns out to be. But quite frankly, another congressman’s argument
    opposed to this bill is yet to hold water based on that phone interview
    between him and Arnold Clavio of Channel 7 in Unang Hirit (21
    September). Well, for all the fun and excitement that the
    bill generated, how we can wish all bills that come out of the
    legislative mill receive the same vibrant responses, good or bad, of
    that universe that millions of people fondly inhabit called Twitter.
    But maybe, let us try to think before we twit. The children and youngsters have spoken. Maybe it is the turn of the parents and school administrators next. Legislators or policy makers – let them be the judges to calibrate where safety ends and danger begins.

  3. Anti Planking you say? Seriously now? How bout introducing a bill against Congressmen wasting people’s time and money on worthless bills like this one with a penalty like public decapitation or firing squad with rusty bullets? Sounds good :) doesn’t it. The not only steahl away your money with their fat pork barrels but insult your intelligence by crafting useless bills like this one which will just be struck down later by violating Constitutional guarantees to free expression. How retarded of you to create such a huge piece of non sense just for us to answer for. Shame on you.

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