A group of child rights advocates expressed appreciation with the House of Representatives for the approval of an important legislation that will protect the rights of children against abuse.
The bill, “An Act Promoting Positive and Non-violent Discipline of Children” authored by Reps. Susan Yap (1st District, Tarlac) and Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon Partylist), was approved in the House of Representatives on 3rd and final reading.
According to Ernesto Almocera, Jr. of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) and the Child Rights Network (CRN) Secretariat, the bill promotes the use of non-violent means to discipline children instead of corporal or physical punishment which has negative effects to children.
Almocera explains, “the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives is a step towards the fulfillment of the Philippines’ obligation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which has recommended the passage of a bill that will end physical punishment.”
Corporal punishment as defined by the UNCRC is any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. It also considers corporal punishment and other non-physical but equally cruel and degrading forms of punishment, which includes punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules the child.
Meanwhile, the group has high hopes that the senate will take a cue and will also fast track the hearing of the counterpart bill filed by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada pending at the Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations chaired by Sen. Pia S. Cayetano.
“CRN is looking forward to the swift movement of the Senate bill to expedite the enactment of a law that will help parents and other individuals who have responsibility over children teach discipline without physically or psychologically hurting them,” explained Almocera.
“More importantly, it will also protect the rights of children against any form of abuse in other settings such as the school, alternative care centers and even at home.” ended Almocer.
Studies show thousands of children suffer injuries as a result of corporal punishment.
Here is the bill.