By Wilnard Bacelonia

ADDRESSING BULLYING IN SCHOOLS. Members of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) and Department of Education (DepEd) officials discuss the status of bullying in schools, during a meeting at the Senate Building in Pasay City on June 13, 2024. The commission has formed a technical working group to review and propose reforms to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 1067 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013. (Photo courtesy of EDCOM 2)

MANILA – The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2), together with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other basic education stakeholders, has formed a technical working group (TWG) that will review and propose reforms to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 1067 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.

In a news release on Thursday, EDCOM 2 co-chairperson, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, said the review seeks to strengthen the Child Protection Committee, improve bullying case reporting systems, clarify DepEd’s anti-bullying structures, and ensure effective implementation of the law.

Kahit na matagal na ‘yung batas, sa totoo, last year lang talaga natutukan ng DepEd (Even though the law has been around for some time, in truth, it was only last year that DepEd focused on it), by creating an ad hoc office and by asking for personnel. So right now, we don’t actually know the depth of the problem, ‘yung dimensions ng problema ng bullying kasi last year lang pala naumpisahan ‘yung Learners’ Rights Protection Office (the dimensions of the problem of bullying because the LRPO only began last year),” Romulo said.

The LRPO is an office created by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte that focuses on assisting victims of bullying and abuses within or outside school premises.

“Let’s not disappoint – because madami na talagang good plans, but hindi talaga na-i-implement (we had a lot of good plans but were not implemented), and we end up disappointing our teachers, our students, and the DepEd family itself,” Romulo said.

The TWG was formed after a recent meeting of the EDCOM 2 Sub-committee on Basic Education where a series of studies on Bullying and Home and School Environment were presented.

One of these is a study conducted by De La Salle University, which showed that bullying is more common in public schools with large class sizes, discriminatory teachers, and lower competition and discipline.

The study also found that bullying is more prevalent in schools with a higher percentage of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, with Caraga and Mimaropa regions having the highest bullying incidence. (PNA)