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Gatchalian acts to end bullying in schools
SENATOR Win Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking a Senate inquiry on the status of the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10627) to address the alarming incidence of bullying in the country’s schools to recommend policy and legislative interventions for its effective enforcement.
Gatchalian filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 454 following a series of incidents related to bullying in schools, including a fatal stabbing involving two students from Culiat High School in Quezon City and the physical altercation between two Ateneo de Davao University students.
Gatchalian emphasized how bullying adversely affects the performance of learners. Results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (2018) show that among 15 year-old learners from 79 participating countries, Filipino learners are the most exposed to bullying with 65% of them experiencing bullying at least a few times a month.
The assessment also showed that learners who reported being threatened scored 56 points lower in Reading compared to those who had no or less frequent experiences.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education pointed out that a comprehensive analysis and gap review of Republic Act No. 10627 is needed. He pressed the need to ensure that every school is effectively implementing procedures described in the anti-bullying law, including immediate responses, reporting, fact-finding and documentation, intervention, and disciplinary measures.
The Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 55 s. 2013 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10627 designates the Child Protection Committee (CPCs) as the Anti-Bullying Committee, which will handle bullying cases in public or private schools. The forming of CPCs in every public and private school was first mandated by DepEd Order No. 40 s. 2012 or DepEd’s Child Protection policy, which promotes zero tolerance on abuse and violence against children.
“Sa gitna ng nakakaalarmang mga insidente ng bullying at karahasan sa ating mga paaralan, napapanahon ang pagsusuri natin sa umiiral na batas upang matiyak na maitataguyod natin ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng ating mga mag-aaral. Kailangang masugpo natin ang bullying sa ating mga paaralan, lalo na’t nagdudulot ito ng pinsala sa kanilang pag-aaral at mental health,” said Gatchalian.