30 September 2016, Naga City – Senator Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian addressed students and organizations here as resource speaker in the Anti-Campus Violence Advocacy Seminar at the Arrupe Convention Hall, Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU).
Around 400 students, student council and organizations from ADNU and other schools in Naga City attended the affair. City Mayor John Bongat graced the occasion and gave the opening remarks.
Upon invitation of the University, through organizer Office of Student Affairs, Sen. Gatchalian shared in the seminar his data and insights on the different forms of violence that the youth experience in schools today.
One of these is hazing practices of organizations, which according to the senator have become a structure for abuse and has caused the death for young people. He criticized the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995 (R.A. 8049) as toothless and unable to stop hazing incidents and bring perpetrators to justice. He shared that he has filed new bill in the Senate to repeal R.A. 8049, totally prohibit and criminalize hazing.
Aside from hazing, he talked about bullying, which according to his data has become prevalent on social media, texting and e-mail. He revealed that victims do not report bullying incidents to authorities like school, and their parents, and that some of them have low self-esteem and suicidal ideations as a result of their bullying experiences. He urged the University to provide programs and mechanisms to address the problem, given its impact on the safety and well-being of the students.
After the talk, the senator engaged with the audience in the open forum. He addressed questions on cybercrime, extra-judicial killings, and the plan to revive ROTC, among others. He thanked the ADNU community for the opportunity to share his advocacies on education, especially on safety and rights of students.
The advocacy seminar is part of the Office of Student Affairs’ (OSA) continuing advancement of student rights and responsibilities. In the last two school years, OSA conducted seminars on bullying and dangerous drugs. OSA will sustain the anti-violence advocacy in the coming semester through activities and development of materials that promote peace and respect for the dignity of persons.