Bill filed to prohibit office bullying

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 04 2014 03:46 AM | Updated as of Jul 04 2014 11:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Two Bicol lawmakers are seeking to prohibit bullying in government and private offices.

In filing the Anti-Office Bullying Act of 2014, Reps. Rodel Batocabe and Christopher Co of party-list group Ako Bicol said while Congress has banned bullying in schools, it has yet to enact a similar law covering private and government offices.

“While a law has been passed preventing and addressing acts of bullying in educational institutions, there still prevails bullying and other similar acts in the workplace. These kinds of acts hamper peace and tranquility in a professional environment and disrupt the delivery of services to the public,” they said.

The lawmakers said bullying in the workplace is often ignored and overlooked by employers and supervisors. They said its ramifications are not limited to the negative effects on victims but also affects an employee’s morale and productivity.

They said the enactment of a law against bullying in the workplace would carry out the constitutional provision mandating respect for the dignity and rights of every person.

They said their proposed law mandates all private and government offices to adopt policies against bullying and similar acts of harassment and intimidation.

The anti-office bullying bill defines bullying as any severe or repeated use by one or more employees of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture, or both, directed at any person that has the effect of placing the victim in fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property.

Acts of bullying include actual physical harm, foul language, name-calling, harassment on the Internet, commenting negatively on one’s looks, clothes or body, spreading rumors, preventing access to the workplace and abusive behavior.