With the resumption of classes, an anti-hazing advocate plans to set up more “No To Hazing” Forum in colleges and universities in his battle against violent initiation rites in fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian believes that information awareness drive on college students is an effective tool to combat hazing activities, which exposes the youth to senseless violence and had caused the death of students over the past decades.
Last June 29, Gatchalian already kicked off his anti-hazing forum for School Year 2015-2016 in Cebu Technological University which was attended by at least 200 college students.
Starting Jan. 2015 up to present, Gatchalian has already met with over 8,350 students from 22 colleges and universities nationwide, including Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and University of the Philippines (UP).
“Hindi sapat na gumawa lang tayo ng batas kontra-hazing. Mas mainam din na personal din nating ipaliwanag ang mga masasamang bagay na maaring idulot ng mga hazing activities sa mga kabataan upang maintindihan nila ang isyu at sila mismo ay makialam sa mga nangyayari sa mga eskwelahan,” Gatchalian said in one of his “No to Hazing” Forum.
Gatchalian is one of the primary author of House Bill No. 5760 or the “Servando Act”, which seeks to repeal Republic Act 8049, or the “Anti-Hazing Law of 1995”, and ban all kinds of hazing activities.
The lawmaker explained it is important to inform students on the steps taken by the government to combat hazing.
Such information, Gatchalian said, will encourage students to avoid being part of violent groups and help them spread awareness among their peers on the negative effects of hazing activities.
“Bilang public servant pwede tayong magpatupad ng batas at hulihin ang mga nagsasagawa ng hazing activities pero kung tutuusin tiwala ako na mas malaki ang kayang magawa ng mga kabataan sa isyu ng hazing,” Gatchalian said.
“Maari nilang payuhan ang kanilang mga katropa na huwag na sumali sa mga organisasyon na nagsasagawa ng bayolenteng aktibidad. Sa ganoon wala nang hazing na mangyayari at wala pang masasaktan,” he elaborated.
In his “No to Hazing” Forum, students are given a background on organizations and hazing in the Philippines. Gatchalian also advises students to join groups that encourage academic excellence to help them in their studies.
“May kalayaan tayo na sumali sa kahit anong group. We just need to be focus, smart, brave, and focus. At huwag sasama sa mga grupong mapanakit. Iyan ang natutunan ko sa anti-hazing forum,” said 16-year-old Jerrick Antimano, a student of Pangasinan State University (PSU).
Edylyn Teodosio, 17, student of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig (PLP): “Sa ‘No to Hazing’ Forum nalaman ko na dapat maging matalino at ‘wag padadala sa peer pressure sa pagsali sa mga grupo na hindi ka sigurado na dadalhin ka sa tamang landas.” (Tim Alcantara)