MANILA -- Child rights advocates on Monday called on the government to certify as urgent the bill banning all forms of corporal punishment in children.

In a press briefing, Child Rights Network (CRN) co-convener Hope Tura said they have expressed concern over the rising cases of children being maltreated or have experienced degrading punishment as means in the guise of discipline.

“We have a society that is already callous, wherein some people saw physical punishment on children as ordinary. We have to do something about. This has to end and we are now calling on the legislators to pass a law that would ban corporal punishment in all settings.”

In its 2002 Report on Violence and Health, the World Health Organization said the parents in the Philippines discipline and punish their children through the use of corporal or physical punishment such as spanking with hand, pinching, and hitting with an object, pulling the hair, among others.

The same report said that Filipino children experience threats of physical punishment and humiliating treatments such as being shouted in front of others, labeling and denigration.

With this, Bagong Henerasyon party-list Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy said she filed House Bill 1082 last July to complement efforts to finally end corporal punishment while citing moves from parents in finding “positive and non-violent methods” for disciplining children.

The bill defines a “child” as a person who is under 18 years old, or those over but are unable to fully shield themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination due to reeling physical or mental condition.

Dy said the bill specifically outlines all prohibited forms of physical and degrading or humiliating punishment of children at home, in schools, in institutions, in alternative care systems and in all other settings.

Meantime, offenders of the said bill will be arrested and imprisoned up to six months or face tough sanctions such as the suspension of parental authority in accordance to the Family Code of the Philippines. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)