Win Tayong Lahat

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House sub-committee amends Servando Act to stop hazing in fraternities

A veteran lawmaker in the House of Representatives plans to include four new provisions in his Anti-Hazing Bill, which serves as the basis in consolidating all proposed amendments and repeal of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995.

Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian, who is the author of House Bill No. 4714 or the ‘Servando Act’, said he will adopt four provisions present in HB 4692, which was filed by Bacolod City Rep. Evelio Leonardia.

The House Committee on Revision of Laws earlier appointed Gatchalian as the head of the technical working group or TWG tasked to consolidate four proposed anti-hazing measures filed before the House of Representatives.

In the second sub-committee hearing on Wednesday, Gatchalian said the additional provisions from Leonardia’s proposed measure on the current anti-hazing law aims to strengthen the regulation of initiation rites in school-registered fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.

The lawmaker also emphasized to those present in the congressional hearing the need to adopt a provision that will penalize those groups who are using harassment as a scheme to recruit new members.

“I would like to include several procedural provisions of Cong. Leonardia’s bill into the Servando Act in order to make it more comprehensive and substantial when it comes to the regulation of frat activities,” Gatchalian said.
“In punishing persons who are threatening members to join their group, we can eliminate those organizations that utilize coercive and rather violent means gathering neophytes,” he added.

Provisions that will be included in HB 4714’s Section 3 – Regulation of Initiation Rites are:
• That the written notice for the conduct of initiation rites be under oath.
• Posting of the written notice in the bulletin board of the school, office of the fraternity or organization, and two other conspicuous places within the school.
• Removal of posted written notice only after three (3) days from the date when initiation rites were conducted.
• The penalty of prison correctional in its minimum period for intimidating, threatening, forcing, or using of vexation against a person for purposes of recruitment or promoting a fraternity and the persistent recruitment of a person who had twice refused to join a fraternity.
Present in the hearing were representatives from Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education, (DepEd), and Central Colleges of the Philippines (Cocopea), Department of Justice (DoJ), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

All group or agency has yet to submit their formal opinion on the proposed anti-hazing measures. (Tim Alcantara)