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Leila bill bans corporal punishment on children

Sen. Leila M. de Lima has filed a bill prohibiting the use of physical force to punish children.

De Lima, a human rights advocate, filed Senate Bill No. 1348 or the “Anti-Corporal Punishment Act of 2017” which aims to shield Filipino children from corporal punishment and all other forms of humiliating and degrading treatment.

The proposed bill bans the use of harsh physical methods and all other forms of humiliating or degrading punishment of children in all settings, including at home, at school, in institutions, at alternative care systems, places of work, and places of detention.

Section 3C of the proposed bill states that corporal punishment is “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”

The prohibited acts are hitting through smacking, slapping, spanking with the hand or with an implement such as but not limited to whip, stick, cane, broom, belt, shoe, wooden spoon, and other similar instruments.

Also included as prohibited acts are pulling hair, shaking, twisting joints, cutting or piercing skin, dragging, or throwing a child.

Child is defined in the measure as an individual below 18 years of age, or those above 18 but are unable to look after or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition.

“In the Philippines, there is no specific law that prohibits the use of corporal punishment or physical violence against children,” according to De Lima. (Elena L. Aben)