Anti-'ghosting' bill offers no resolution, closure either

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Anti-'ghosting' bill offers no resolution, closure either
People dress up as ghosts with sunglasses in this stock image.
Cojanu Alexandru / Pexels

MANILA, Philippines — It may be an emotional offense, but “ghosters” can completely disappear from your life and continue to get away with it under a bill filed recently at the House of Representatives.

Under House Bill No. 611, ghosting — the colloquial term for suddenly severing connections with someone, usually in the context of a romantic relationship — is declared as a form of "emotional abuse" that carries no penalties.

The measure, however, limits its definition of ghosting as something that only happens to straight people who are dating. Dating, in the context of the bill, is defined as living together without being married.

Ghosting is defined under the proposal as "a form of emotional abuse and happens once a person is engaged in a dating relationship with the opposite sex which affects the mental state of the victim."

In filing the bill, Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. (Negros Oriental) said ghosting can be "mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting" to someone who gets ghosted.

"The ambiguity with ghosting is that there is no real closure between the parties concerned and as such, it can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offense because of the trauma it causes to the ‘ghosted’ party," Teves said in his explanatory note.

But still, no real closure is offered in the bill that is practically toothless and is more a novelty at a chamber where hundreds of bills have to go through the legislative process.

Teves last made headlines for another intriguing bill — a proposal to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport, supposedly because the former president and ousted dictator built it.

This is false as the airport’s construction began in 1947 during the presidency of Manuel Roxas.

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