House approves anti-corporal punishment bill-A A +A
Friday, August 5, 2011
THE House of Representatives this week approved on third and final reading a measure that advocates positive and non-violent means to discipline children, instead of corporal punishment.
House Bill (HB) 4455 proposes to prohibit forcing minors to kneel on stones, salt, or pebbles; squatting; public humiliation; deliberate neglect of child's physical needs; exposure to substances that can cause discomfort; and imposing tasks that the minor is incapable of doing such as forcing to skip sleep and verbal assaults.
The proposed legislation will subject erring parents to counseling on children's rights and positive and non-violent discipline of children and anger management.
Parents found guilty of severe corporal punishment on a child will be penalized under the provisions of Republic Act No. 7610 or Child Abuse. Persons entrusted with the child, particularly teachers, guardians, nannies and relatives, face maximum penalties provided for under existing laws.
Under HB 4455, corporal punishment refers to cruel and unusual punishment that subject the child to indignities and other excessive chastisement that embarrasses or humiliates the child.
Tarlac Representative Susan Yap and Bagong Henerasyon party-list Bernadette Herrera-Dy, authors of the measure, are hopeful that the Senate counterpart bill filed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada will be swiftly acted upon. The Estrada bill is currently pending at the Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations.
"The bill, when enacted into law, will first and foremost promote a positive and non-violent approach to child discipline among parents, teachers, and other persons entrusted with the guardianship of children," Yap said.
Herrera-Dy, meanwhile, noted that studies conducted by various international and local agencies "show that corporal punishment is ineffective in disciplining children". Instead, she added, these unacceptable methods of imposing discipline on the youth had only developed in children "anger, resentment and low self-esteem." (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)