President Benigno Aquino has signed Republic Act 10627, or the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.” The law, signed on September 12, 2013, requires all elementary and secondary schools to “adopt policies to prevent and address the acts of bullying in their institutions.”
It asks schools to prohibit bullying, retaliation against a person who reports bullying, and provide disciplinary administrative sanctions against a “perpetrator of bullying.”
The perpetrator is also required to undergo a rehabilitation program to be administered by the school concerned while the parents will also be encouraged to participate in the program.
Schools are expected to educate students, parents and guardians about the “dynamics of bullying,” as well as the mechanisms for reporting incidents of bullying or retaliation.
The school’s anti-bullying policies shall be published in the student handbook and be posted in school bulletin boards and websites.
The designated school officer or school principal to handle bullying cases is expected to “promptly investigate” reports of bullying and take the necessary steps if bullying is found to have occurred.
This includes notifying law enforcement agencies if criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator, taking the appropriate disciplinary administrative action, and notifying the parents and guardians of the perpetrator and victim.
The Department of Education will be prescribing the appropriate administrative sanctions on school administrators who fail to comply with the requirements of the law.