MANILA - A proposal seeking to ban bullying in the workplace was filed in the Senate to ensure that employees will be protected from "physical, mental and emotional harm" that could affect their productivity, a lawmaker said.
The Anti-Office Bullying proposal requires all public and private agencies and businesses to impose penalties against any form of abusive behavior in the workplace, including cyberbullying, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. said in Senate Bill 1217, filed on December 9, 2019.
"Bullying in the workplace is often ignored and overlooked by both employers and co-employees, but its consequences are not only on victim's emotional health but it also affects his productivity and morale," Revilla said.
The bill defines bullying as "any severe or repeated use of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property."
Authorities may suspend the business permits of private firms that will not adhere to the anti-bullying measure, while government offices that will fail to curb bullying in the workplace will be charged with administrative sanctions.
"This bill seeks to achieve a more peaceful and tranquil professional environment towards a more productive economy," the senator said.
A psychologist earlier advised against dismissing bullies from school or work.
"We also have to understand that plain dismissal or expulsion is the easy way out," Dr. Randy Dellosa of the Life Change Recovery Center told ABS-CBN News in an earlier interview.
"Ang dami namang bullies din (there are many bullies) who were able to overcome their bullying tendencies. In fact, they used their assertiveness to help people later on in life," he said.
"And that's the purpose of restorative justice, na hindi lang i-punish, hindi natin ibu-bully kundi ire-restore natin (not just to punish, not to bully, but to restore him) so he can be a productive citizen of society," he said.