No more spanking? What positive discipline bill means

Posted at Mar 23 2015 06:33 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2015 02:33 AM

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MANILA - Will spanking your kids soon become a crime in the Philippines?

According to Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Susan Yap, physical abuse of children is never an acceptable form of discipline.

"Naging synonymous na sa ating kultura na ang pagdidisiplina sa bata ay pananakit. Hindi po dapat ganun ang pagpapalaki sa ating kabataan," she said in a radio DZMM interview.

Yap said House Bill 4907 or the "Positive Discipline Act" bans several violent forms of discipline against children.

These include extreme physical abuse, forcing children to kneel on salt or monggo seeds and striking the child on 'no-strike zones' from the head to the shoulder.

Other forms of abuse tackled in the bill include twisting the child's ear, humiliation, verbal abuse, locking up or shackling a child, or even refusing the child food.

Yap said there are already laws that bar physical abuse of children in institutions such as schools. She said the new bill now stops physical abuse in the family setting.

The lawmaker said the bill does not ban spanking completely. "Ito naman ho hindi yung napalo mo minsan. Ito yung kapag may nagreklamo naman talagang excessive na yung parusa," she said.

She dismissed talk that the new bill would encourage kids to become disrespectful of their parents, saying that positive reinforcement and discipline encourage kids to become better behaved.

She said physically abusing children as a form of discipline builds up resentment in kids and teaches them to do the same to their own children in the future.

"Itinuturo mo sa bata at ipapasa sa mga susunod na anak," she said.

A counterpart bill has already been filed in the Senate.

RADIO DZMM, March 23, 2015