A House panel approved a measure that will ban corporal punishment or violent ways of disciplining children.
The Committee on Welfare of Children, chaired by Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Divina Grace Yu, underscored the need of such measure to protect the welfare and lives of children.
The House Bill 516, otherwise known as “An Act Promoting Positive and Non-Violent Discipline of Children and Appropriating Funds Therefor,” is authored by Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.
“Since then, this bill has already gone through a lot of honing. We have consistently transmitted this to the Senate, but apparently they never got the chance to approve it,” Yu said.
In filing the measure, Herrera-Dy said it is high time to recognize the antiquity and ineffectivity of conventional methods of discipline.
She said several studies have shown that discipline through corporal punishment produces more non-positive effects whatsoever.
“Most often, corporal punishment only produces anger, resentment and low esteem among children. Furthermore it only teaches the child that violence is an acceptable behavior and become something worthy of emulation,” Herrera-Dy added.
The bill seeks to prohibit corporal punishment and all other forms of humiliating or degrading punishment on children in all settings.
It seeks to strengthen the country’s laws, policies and programs in respecting child’s rights, human dignity, physical integrity and equal protection of law in compliance with the Philippine government’s obligation to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It specifically outlines all prohibited forms of corporal punishment upon children whether physically or emotionally impacting regardless of whoever is the perpetrator of the abuse.
Liane Alampay, a doctor and psychology professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, said based on their research, the science argument against corporal punishment is very strong and very consistent.
Alampay said spanking, harsh physical and even harsh verbal discipline predict negative child outcome.
“Simply put, kids who are spanked become more aggressive,” she said.