Guest Blog – House Passes Anti-Spanking Bill

House passes anti-spanking bill
By Angelo L. Gutierrez, The Philippine Star, August 05, 2011



MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a proposed measure that prohibits “spanking” of children.

House Bill 4455 or the Positive Discipline bill, authored by Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap, prohibits acts that are perceived as abusive to children and advocates positive and non-violent means to discipline children.

The proposed prohibited acts include forcing the minor 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.

Yap said that the “Positive and Non-Violent Discipline on Children Act,” emphasizes that corporal punishment is inconsistent with the requirements of respect for the child’s dignity stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), where the country is a signatory.

“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,” Rep. Yap added.

Yap said that corporal punishment instils domestic violence in children. She said this makes them confused because the persons they rely on the most for love and affection are allowed to physically hurt and abuse them in the guise of discipline.

“Children who are afflicted with corporal punishment eventually become a part of our social ills in the future,” she said.

Yap, meanwhile, said that she is hopeful that her bill’s counterpart in the Senate, introduced by Senate Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada will also be passed soon.