An anti-hazing advocate has intensified the campaign against the conduct of violent initiation rites in fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations, setting up a series of “No to Hazing” fora in different universities and colleges in the Philippines.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian, the primary author of House Bill No. 4714 or the “Servando Act”, increased the number of forums held in campuses nationwide that aim to increase awareness of the youth on the dangers of hazing in fraternity groups.
Gatchalian visited eight state universities and colleges in Metro Manila, Aparri, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Aklan, and Lanao Del Sur, educating over 7,000 students who participated in the forum conducted from January to March this year.
The highest number of participants came from the Urdaneta State University or USU, which had over 3,000 students who shared their participative actions in their own organizations that other students may learn from the experience of their peers.
Gatchalian then highlighted the advantages of being a part of an organization and explained how members of these groups can strengthen their bond without the need to conduct hazing.
The lawmaker also elaborated on the content of the consolidated version of anti-hazing measures seeking to amend Republic Act No. 8049 or the “Anti-Hazing Law of 1995”, which was already approved for second reading in the House of Representatives.
He also conducted question-and-answer portion to clarify the common concerns and misconceptions of students, like whether harsh training in military and police academies can qualify as hazing or not.
In one of his forums at the Central Malabon University or CMU, Gatchalian also reminded students to not let themselves be willing victims of hazing in spite of promises of career advancement and security.
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He said that connections and protection offered by certain groups do not justify the hazing activities they conduct to supposedly test the loyalty and courage of those who wants to enter their organization.
“Maraming pangako ang mga organization na gumagawa ng hazing kesyo kapag sumali ka magkakaroon ka ng maayos na trabaho sa hinaharap o ‘di kaya magkakaroon ka ng resbak tuwing may kaaway ka,” Gatchalian pointed out.
“Pero kahit may ganitong matatamis na pangako, hindi pa rin tama na sasaktan nila lahat ng gustong sumali sa kanila just to prove a neophyte’s loyalty and courage. It will never justify the beatings and injuries they inflict to other people.” he maintained. (Tim Alcantara)