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Monday, December 4, 2023

Sen. Gatchalian pushes Senate review of implementation of anti-bullying law

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SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian, warning against the detrimental effects of bullying on students in school campus, spearheaded Monday’s Senate inquiry by the Committee on Basic Education’s review of the implementation of Republic Act No. 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Law.

Presiding over the hearing, Gatchalian aired an alarm over studies indicating the Philippines high on the list having the “highest incidence of bullying, aggression, violence, and offensive behavior in schools” among countries in Southeast Asia.

The lawmaker, likewise, noted the 2019 Programme for International Assessment (PISA) results linking bullying to the decline in the academic performance of Filipino students.

“Bullying is an education problem,” Gatchalian stressed, suggesting, “If we want to address learner performance and improve learner outcomes, we also need to make sure that the school environment is safe, conducive and projects confidence for our students.”

The committee chairman aired hopes by affected sectors eager to “hear from government officials and experts whether or not RA 10627 is still responsive and effective in addressing the problem of bullying in the country’s schools today.”

This developed as Department of Education assured concerned parents that the DepEd had launched “anti-bullying centers.”

Education Assistant Secretary for Operations Dexter Galban confirmed the department’s commitment to stop bullying among Filipino students nationwide.

At the public hearing on the Anti-Bullying Act last Monday, Galban reported “the Department of Education [DepEd] has been supportive of the Anti-bullying Act of 2013 and created several units within the department from Child Protection Units to Child Rights Education Desks.”

He added that the DepEd recently merged the two as the Learners’ Rights and Protection Office, confirming, “We have even launched the Learners Rights TeleSafe Contact Centers last November to increase our capacity to gather reports on bullying.”

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