Speaking before a forum at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian highlighted the roles of school and university administrators in stopping violent the culture of hazing among fraternities.
“In coming up with a new Anti-Hazing measure, we figured out that schools and universities play a huge part in the formation and the activities of these groups. This is why education is one of the main focus of my legislation,“ Gatchalian explained.
“It is also a part of the reason why as a lawmaker, I want to call on for grassroot-backing from students in fighting against this violent tradition present in the culture of fraternities and sororities,” he urged.
Gatchalian, principal author of the Servando Act, explained this also prompted him to increase the fine on schools and universities found guilty of a violation to P1 million.
The former Valenzuela City mayor expressed hope that the increased amount of fine would make them more cooperative in the government anti-hazing effort and hold them accountable to hazing incidents occurring in their campus.
“Maraming mga eskwelahan ang naghuhugas kamay kapag may hazing incident tapos lahat ng sisi ipapasa sa mga government at authorities,” Gatchalian said.
“Ngayon kung bibigyan natin sila ng accountability sa mga organization activities, sigurado ako na mas magiging proactive at tutok sila sa mga fraternity and sorority sa kanilang mga campus,” he explained.
The Servando Act is now under the process of consolidation before the House Committee on Revision of Laws, which tasked Gatchalian to merge all proposed amendments in the 19-year-old anti-hazing law.
Gregorio Ramon Tingson, chair of the National Youth Commission (NYC), expressed support for moves to create a new measure that aims to add more teeth on the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995.
During UP’s Anti-Hazing Law Forum on Thursday, Tingson emphasized the current anti-hazing law is “defective and out of touch” in the culture of fraternities and sororities.
“Kung titignan mo ‘yung lumang batas, napaka-defective niya. Katulad na lang ng rules sa pag-inhibit ng judges (handling cases of hazing victims), dapat kung ka-brod ba nung judge (‘yung suspect), dapat ba mag-inhibit?” Tingson asked.
“Sabi sa batas natin, hindi pwede. In that alone, there is something wrong… That’s why we (NYC) are trying to think outside the box. Habang hindi pa naisasabatas ‘yung mga proposed amendments, we are thinking of ways that can help us improve it,” he added.
NYC is part of the newly created anti-hazing inter-agency created through Memorandum Circular 68 of Malacanang in order to boost review and boost the implementation of RA 8049. (Tim Alcantara)