DAVAO CITY, Philippines — An ordinance that seeks to address bullying within this city’s schools, workplaces, and other settings like cyberspace has been proposed.
The Anti-Bullying in Davao City, an ordinance filed by third district councilor Lorenzo Villafuerte during the second regular session of the 20th City Council, Tuesday, July 12, has passed the first reading.
“It is through this ordinance that we further promote the general welfare and well-being of our citizens,” said Villafuerte, a neophyte councilor, during his speech.
He added that bullying “is an act done in bad faith, it is unacceptable, deplorable, and does not bode well for the well-being of the citizens we are empowered to safeguard”.
The proposed ordinance will be back to the committee level as Villafuerte, chair of the city council’s Civil Political, and Human Rights Committee, is set to conduct a hearing to consult or discuss the issue with different institutions and schools.
In an interview, he shared one of the reasons why he proposed the ordinance is because of the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey which found out that 65% of high school students, 15 years old and above, have experienced bullying in the school setting.
“We’ll have face-to-face classes soon, it is only appropriate that we have our own ordinance for anti-bullying,” he said, adding that the committee is yet to determine the appropriate penalty against the violators.
His proposed ordinance, Villafuerte said, will also strengthen the city’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.
Meanwhile, the country already has the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10627), which was approved on Sept. 12, 2013 by then Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III. The law requires all elementary and secondary schools to adopt policies to prevent and address bullying in their institutions. (davaotoday.com)