Press Release
July 4, 2019

De Lima underscores importance of measure banning physical punishment

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has underscored the importance of enacting a measure prohibiting physical punishment on children after an eight-year-old girl was forced to kneel on embers by her mother in Zamboanga del Sur.

In the 17th Congress, De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 1348 or the "Anti-Corporal Punishment Act of 2017, to protect Filipino children from corporal punishment and all other forms of humiliating and degrading treatment.

The measure was passed by both Houses of Congress but Mr. Duterte vetoed it on Feb. 23, 2019. De Lima intends to refile the same measure this 18th Congress. The mother of the child was summoned by the barangay council and made her to sign a document where she promised to stop abusing her daughter. However, the local social welfare and development office has yet to act on the matter.

"Kung naaprubahan lang ito, mayroon tayong paraan upang mapapanagot ang magulang. Sa ngayon, walang sapat na proteksiyon ang mga batang Pilipino laban sa pang-aabuso at pagma-maltrato," emphasized De Lima, a staunch advocate of human rights and social justice.

The lady Senator from Bicol wanted to ban physical discipline as a means to punish children, including the use of spanking, shaking, or paddling in home, schools, alternative childcare, places of work and places of detention.

According to De Lima, the Philippines, despite being a signatory to the United Nations Convention of the Right of Child, has yet to pass a legislation outlawing corporal punishment.

"It is imperative to underscore that the protection of children against acts that harm their physical and psychological integrity is a treaty commitment of the Philippines," said De Lima, a former justice secretary and Commission on Human Rights chairperson.

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