SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House Committee on Welfare of Children chaired by Rep. Divina Grace Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur) on Monday approved the substitute bill on the proposed “Positive and Non-Violent Discipline of Children Act” which seeks to promote positive and non-violent discipline of children and protect them from physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment.
As defined in the bill, “positive and non-violent discipline” refers to a holistic, constructive and pro-active approach to parenting or teaching that helps children develop appropriate thinking and behavior in the short and long terms and is based on the principles of children’s rights, child development and effective teaching.
“Physical, humiliating or degrading act as a form of punishment” refers to any form of punishment or discipline in which physical force is used and intended to cause pain or discomfort or non-physical act that causes a child to feel belittled, denigrated, threatened or ridiculed.
The bill, principally authored by Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, BH), mandates the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive program to promote positive and non-violent discipline instead of physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of discipline of children.
It calls for a continuing information dissemination campaign to be conducted nationwide by concerned government agency on how to practice positive discipline.
The bill further provides that children, in respect of their right to protection, shall not be subjected to all forms of physical, humiliating and degrading acts as a form of punishment in homes, schools, institutions, alternative care systems, the juvenile welfare system, in places of religious worship, and in all other settings where there is direct contact with children.
Any person having personal knowledge of the act or acts of any physical, humiliating or degrading act as a form of punishment against a child may file a report before the barangay and/or the police.
The police shall bring the report to the attention of the barangay or a healthcare provider.
The punong barangay may, upon determination if the act committed falls under the definition of physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment as provided in the bill, refer both the offender and the offended party to mediation and conciliation.
In extreme cases where the safety of the child is at stake, the punong barangay may recommend temporary protection orders, taking into consideration the best interest of the child.
In cases of repeat offenders, the barangay captain shall require the offender to undergo seminars on positive discipline, anger management, and children’s rights; undergo counseling or therapy; and/or be directed to avail of other rehabilitating services as may be applicable.
Likewise, the child shall also be provided with counseling and/or be referred for other services if needed.
The proposal does not preclude the filing of appropriate criminal cases if the offense falls under the Revised Penal Code and other special laws.
Government agencies tasked to promote positive and non-violent discipline and protect children from physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment are the following: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO); Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC); Department of Education (DepEd); Early Childhood Care and Development Council (ECCDC); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Department of Health (DOH); local government units (LGUs); Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPC); Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Philippine National Police (PNP); the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK); and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The DSWD shall be responsible for the formulation of a comprehensive program to promote the positive and non-violent discipline of children and the prevention of the use of physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment.
The DepEd shall integrate positive and non-violent discipline of children in the training of school officials, teachers and personnel.
It shall ensure that school officials, teachers and personnel do not use physical, humiliating or degrading acts as form of punishment on any pupil or student.
The DOH shall integrate early child development interventions in the various health and nutrition programs and services with emphasis on family-child interaction during well and sick child visits.
The DOLE shall make the attendance of employers to positive discipline trainings as a prerequisite for the issuance of employment permits for children.
The PNP shall promote positive discipline and non-violent ways of treating and handling children in conflict with the law.
Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), vice chair of the panel presided over the meeting. The bill substituted House Bills 516 and 6955.
Authors of the bill are Reps. Lorna Silverio, Teodoro Montoro, Salvador Belaro Jr., Jose Atienza Jr., Rodante Marcoleta, Nancy Catamco, Melecio Yap Jr., Mark Aeron Sambar, Raul Del Mar, Mark Go, Fredenil Castro, Jericho Jonas Nograles, Robert Ace Barbers, Gil Acosta, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Sabiniano Canama, Divina Grace Yu, Alberto Ungab, Joseph Stephen Paduano, Romeo Acop, Cesar Sarmiento, Roy Loyola, Orestes Salon, Lianda Bolilia, Celso Lobregat, Ronaldo Zamora, Carmelo Lazatin II, Napoleon Dy, Dale Malapitan, Edcel Lagman, Yedda Marie Romuladez, Leopoldo Bataoil, Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr., Alexandria Gonzales, Emmanuel Billones, Edwin Ong, Frederick Abueg, Michael John Duavit, Strike Revilla, Manuel Monsour Del Rosario, Scott Davies Lanete, Pablo Ortega, Gabriel Bordado Jr., Jesus Celeste, Allen Jesse Mangaoang, Winston Castelo, Luis Ferrer IV, Greg Gasataya, Isagani Amatong, Manuel Zubiri, Jesus Nonato Sacdalan, Ana Cristina Go, Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso, Joel Mayo Almario, Benhur Salimbangon, Arthur Yap, Arcadio Gorriceta, Edgar Erice, Ma. Lourdes Aggabao, Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Raul Tupas, Edgar Sarmiento, Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Rosenda Ann Ocampo, Anthony Bravo, Arnel Ty, Alfredo Garbin Jr., Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Erlpe John Amante, Shernee Abubakar Tan, Manuel Luis Lopez, Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, Ramon Rocamora, Ron Salo, Magnolia Antonino, Tom Villarin, Aniceto Bertiz III, Ann Hofer, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Kaka Bag-ao, Bai Sandra Sinsuat Sema, Jocelyn Limkaichong, Lawrence Fortun, Rodel Batocabe, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Benjamin Agarao Jr., Cristina Roa-Puno, Ma. Theresa Collantes, and members of the Committee on Appropriations present during the approval of the bill's funding provision. | Vicki Palomar