Bill seeks to ban hazing in and out of schools

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker filed on Tuesday, July 8, a bill that seeks – once and for all – to end hazing in the Philippines.

"In order to stop hazing, it must be recognized by the law for what it is – a barbaric criminal act that compromises the integrity of any organization that employs it as a means of initiation,” Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian said in his explanatory note to House Bill 4714.

HB 4714 or the "Servando Act" – named after college student Guillo Cesar Servando who died after a hazing ritual on June 28 – repeals Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law which only regulates hazing conducted by fraternities, sororities, and other organizations. 

The proposed bill prohibits hazing or any physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury to be inflicted on a person who wants to be admitted to an organization. Under the measure, any activity that humiliates, degrades, abuses, and endangers a neophyte, is also considered hazing. 

Hazing also refers to unauthorized training procedures of prospective members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police that results to physical and pyschological suffering, harm, or injury.

"We must ensure that no more aspiring and purposeful young people will meet a tragic and senseless end through hazing. Let the memory of Guillo Cesar Servando not be in vain,” Gatchalian said in a statement Tuesday.

Regulation of organizations

The bill mandates schools to regulate organizations, whether existing or newly-established. A faculty adviser will also supervise and monitor the activities of every group.

An initiation rite which does not cause harm to the organization's applicants will only be allowed if it meets the following requirements:

Schools must come up with guidelines for the approval or denial of applications. During the initation, at least two school representatives must be present to make sure no hazing is conducted. 

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd) will, in turn, monitor the schools. 

Fraternities, sororities, and organizations not based in schools are also covered by the bill.

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.