Solon: Declare July as National Bullying Awareness & Prevention Month

A House leader is seeking the declaration of July as the “National Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month” to raise awareness on bullying prevention and the importance of protecting the youth from all forms of abuse, cruelty and exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development and the promotion of their universal primary education.

Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon (2nd District, Caloocan City) said the month of July is an opportune time to raise awareness on the problem of bullying in schools since it is immediately the succeeding month after the opening of classes every school year.

“Hence, the month of July is an opportune time to raise awareness on the problem of bullying in schools and conduct activities to stop this form of violence against children,” said Cajayon, chairperson of the House Committee on Globalization and WTO.

Cajayon said bullying has now become a prevalent issue facing school children and their parents in the country. It is generally defined as an act of repeated aggressive behavior to intentionally hurt another person physically or mentally according to her.

Cajayon cited a previous study entitled “Bullying in Middle Schools: An Asian Pacific Regional Study (2008, Vol. 9, No. 4) which discovered that Filipino children have a higher rate of being “made fun of” by other children, about 57 to 58 percent more than school children in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.

“The Philippines ranked higher than the rest of other countries in all categories like 39 percent theft; 36 percent were physically hurt; 45 percent were forced to do things they did not want; and 30 percent were left out of groups,” she said.

“In view of the spate of bullying incidents and bullying-related crimes in the country, this proposal aims to raise awareness and concern of Filipinos regarding bullying prevention and the importance of creating safe and protective spaces for children in order to promote universal primary education,” said Cajayon.

In House Bill 6647 or the proposed “National Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month,” Cajayon proposed an annual program of activities shall be prepared by the Department of Education during the observance of the anti-bullying month.

The DepEd shall lead public and private school communities at all levels nationwide in organizing consciousness raising activities on the prevention of bullying including all forms of abuse, cruelty and exploitation against children, the bill provides.

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