Cebu News

DSWD, CHR favor ordinance but some parents don't agree

- The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Social Welfare and Development-7 is pleased with the approval of a city ordinance against corporal punishment.

“Labihan nakong lipaya. (I am very happy.) The parents will now be aware,” said DSWD-7 spokesperson Jaybee Binghay.

Binghay said that while the rights of the children are widely taught to kids even in schools, corresponding to their rights is also the responsibility of the parents, so the latter also needs help.

She said DSWD has a session on parent effectiveness and parent responsible service that they can attend.

“Ang bata, para dili sad mag-abusar sa ilang rights, they need positive discipline. (The children also need positive discipline so that they won’t abuse their rights),” Binghay said.

This is done, Binghay said, by “involving” the children if they commit mistakes.

She said if a child broke something, hitting them will not solve the problem. “What we do is tawgon ang bata, sultihan nga nasayop siya and for example, kuhaan ang ilang allowance as punishment, (We call the attention of the child and tell them they are wrong. An example of a punishment would be to cancel their allowance,” the DSWD official said.

Binghay said any parent can actually discipline his or her children not by hitting them or verbally assaulting them. She said child abuse involves not just physical but also psychological violence.

According to Binghay, the number of abuses in Central Visayas actually lessened considering that a number of people are now calling the DSWD hotline to report any child abuse in their place.

“Unlike sa una na pwerteng gamaya ra g’yud ang manawag sa among hotline. Karon maka-receive na mi og calls even from a child na gi-abuse daw siya sa iyang ginikanan. So karon, mas aware na ang kadaghanan, (Unlike before when we seldom receive calls on our hotline. Now, we receive calls even from a child who is abused by his parents. Now, many are more aware),” Binghay said.

The Commission on Human Rights also lauded the Cebu City ordinance as a way to promote children’s rights.

“The ordinance is in consonance with the international human rights laws which prohibit corporal punishment,” said CHR-7 Director Alejandro Alonzo.

Alonzo said the local government of Cebu is now seriously echoing the campaign of the government under Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.”

The director stressed that other means can be used to disciple children without resorting to violence especially in the critical the stage of a child’s development. 

Alonzo said children being unruly are natural while they are still exploring and learning from the environment which is vital to their growth and development.

Aside from passing laws and ordinances, Alonzo said local government units should educate parents on proper discipline.

But while these government agencies favored the City Council’s passage of the ordinance prohibiting corporal punishment, there are also those who expressed their opposition.

Mylene Labalan, a mother of three, said she is against the said ordinance, saying spanking “as long as it does not physically harm the child” is a way of disciplining him.

Labalan believes that punishing the child for his mistake will make him remember that mistake.

“I don’t spank or hit my children, and they don’t listen to me. They would rather listen to their father, who gives them a bit of spanking everytime they exhibit a bad behavior. So you see, once in a while you have to do it for your children’s sake,” she said.

Pearl Selyn Capala Adlawan, who has two children, also said there are times that a child must be punished to curb a bad attitude that is starting to come out from him.

“As parents we know what are the best ways to discipline our kids. Spanking is applicable kung gahi gyud og ulo. Pero kung grabe na kaayo og bun-og ang bata, aw angay nang silotan ang ginikanan ana, (…but if it’s too much and the child gets bruised from the spanking, parents should also be punished),” she said.

For her part, Bless Roble-Misa, also a mother, said “Those who made that, either they are infertile or are not at home always to be with their kids. I don’t spank my kids often. I only do the “face the wall”, “go to your room” thing. But sometimes, if di na jud kaya, I do the one-spank rule. Then heart-to-heart talk afterwards. It is working, so far.”  (FREEMAN)








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