House bill bans verbal abuse on children

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill promoting positive and non-violent forms of imposing discipline on children.

House Bill 4907 also called the Positive Discipline Act seeks to protect the children  from  corporal punishment and to secure an environment that fosters positive reinforcement of children’s behavior to facilitate learning and growth.

One of the bill’s authors, Akbayan party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez  lauded the passage of the proposal saying this will help secure the safety and well-being of children in their homes, schools and communities.

“Effective and positive discipline establishes the foundation for children to learn self-discipline, protects them from dangers of violent discipline and help instill in them the value of self-control and responsibility,” Gutierrez said.

The measure prohibits all forms of corporal punishment, humiliating or degrading chastisement to children like kicking, slapping, pulling hair and dragging. It also forbids the use of threats to force children to perform physically painful or damaging acts such as kneeling on stones, refusal to provide the child’s physical needs and tying up a child.

The bill provides that verbal abuse, swearing or cursing, and making a child look or feel foolish in front of one’s peers or public are also outlawed.

The penalties under existing penal laws shall be imposed in the maximum period or arresto mayor in its maximum period, except where a higher penalty is provided for under Act 3815, or the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended, or under Republic Act 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act.

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