Press Release
August 17, 2010


In pursuit of his advocacy to uphold child protection, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. filed two bills that will protect children from violence in and out of school.

The lawmaker pushed anew his bill that would create an independent body that would initiate investigation and pursue the prosecution of all incidents of child abuse, exploitation and discrimination. "We really need a watchdog against child abusers, regardless if the offenders are ordinary citizens, school personnel, or family members," Bong Revilla stressed.

The senator cited the recent report of the Council for the Welfare of Children that seven out of ten children from public schools experience violence both from their peers and mentors. Based on the report, beatings and sexual harassment are common in state-run schools in the Philippines , with many pupils also routinely bullied. Moreover, schools tolerate teachers spanking, beating, pinching, slapping, cursing and shouting at children to impose discipline, and there are no standard mechanisms for addressing complaints.

"We must put a stop to these forms of violence. These contribute to the high student dropout rate in Philippine schools," said Bong Revilla.

Under Bong Revilla's Senate Bill no. 2191, the Office of the Tanodbata shall investigate, on complaint by any person or on its own, and initiate court action against any person, corporation or firm, for any and all commissions of child abuse. It shall have one special prosecutor and one investigator for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao . "The Office of the Tanodbata shall direct any government agency to render assistance and furnish information necessary for the welfare of Filipino children and shall ensure that legislation relating to the protection of children's right is observed," he explained.

At the same time, he also filed Senate Bill no. 2004 that is aimed to create the National Parent Council that would assist parents in honing the civic efficiency and moral development of their children. "This bill seeks to foster parents' participation in our educational system by strengthening the parents association. The partnership of parents, teachers, school management, community and the children themselves is the key to providing the best possible education for all our children. I am confident that this proposal would be a great help in dealing with children-related violence both inside and outside of school," he pointed out.

Under Senate Bill 2004, parent associations shall be organized at school, city or municipality, and provincial levels. A National Parent Council will then be created and will be composed of representatives elected from among the Provincial Parents Associations. The council is tasked not only to promote the welfare of school children but also of the community they live in.

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