Tough penalties for bullying in schools

Tough penalties for bullying in schools
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DURING the Aprubado sa Konseho Media Forum on Tuesday morning, July 2, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City, a Davao City Councilor highlighted the specific penalties outlined in the Anti-Bullying Ordinance for schools and institutions that fail to address bullying.

Councilor Lorenzo Benjamin Villafuerte specified that under the ordinance, institutions will receive a warning for a first offense. Private institutions, on the other hand, will be summoned by the Anti-Bullying committee to explain their lack of action.

“Kung second offense na nila and daghan nag mga cases na unresolved in their [institution], it would be grounds not to renew their business permit (If it is their second offense and multiple bullying cases remain unresolved, it may lead to non-renewal of their business permit),” he said.

For public schools, administrative actions will be taken against students, overseen by the principal as they do not hold business permits.

He said that penalizing inaction on bullying cases is intended to prompt Davao schools to address reports promptly.

Regarding legal actions, Villafuerte noted that bullying cases may be brought to court, and treated as civil cases due to the age of the students involved.

“Maskin grabe na gani, gahi ug ulo ang bata, we are still trying to change them; to be a better person. Kana ang goal sa ordinance (Even if a child behaves badly, we are still aiming to help them change for the better. That's the goal of the ordinance),” Villafuerte said.

The Anti-Bullying Ordinance, originally approved on April 23, 2023, strengthens the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10627, also known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, and RA 1131, the Safe Spaces Act, within the city. 

The finalization of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is pending to prevent misuse of the law.

Discussions on the timeline for final approval are ongoing. Allyssa Kaye Casas, AdDU Intern

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