By Filane Mikee Cervantes

(File photo)

MANILA – A House of Representatives panel on Monday approved a measure promoting positive parenting in all settings.

During the hearing, the House Committee on Welfare of Children, chaired by BHW Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, approved the unnumbered substitute bill to House Bills (HBs) 8306 and 1269, promoting positive and non-violent discipline of children at home, in school, in institutions, in alternative care systems, in workplaces, and in all other settings.

Co, author of the bill, said eliminating corporal punishment of children in all settings is not just a mere governmental obligation but also a key strategy to reduce and prevent all forms of violence against children (VAC) in the country.

She said the measure would fill in the parents and legal guardians with affable and non-violent parenting tools and mechanisms that would help build and develop a child’s self-esteem, self-discipline, and essential life skills.

Co said parents could discipline their children while respecting their human rights and dignity.

“In the existence of positive and non-violent parenting methods that contribute to raising children, who are not only disciplined but also poised to become productive and effective members of the society,” Co said.

The bill aims to protect children from any form of physical, humiliating, or degrading acts as a form of punishment committed in all possible settings where there is direct or indirect contact with a child.

It proposes reporting mechanisms for such cases, intervention mechanisms at the local level, granting immunity from suit to qualified intervening persons; as well as penalties against persons causing a child to lie or fabricate about incidents of physical, humiliating, and degrading acts.

Concerned agencies, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Education, shall be mandated to develop approaches, integrate, adopt, and implement programs to promote positive parenting.

During the same hearing, the panel also resolved to create a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate and harmonize the provisions of HBs 4591 and 5577, strengthening the Council for the Welfare of Children, and HBs 7196 and 8163, establishing the Philippine Commission on Children, an independent agency under the Office of the President.

“As our society progresses, it is essential to build a sustainable agency that can adapt to the evolving needs of our children,” Co said. (PNA)