Are you at the receiving end of cyber bullying?
- Update : Bullying Cases up by 21% in Philippine Schools
- Practical help: What to do when being (cyber) bullied
- Update: After the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013- More Needs to Be Done
- Update: Republic Act 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 was signed into law, and cyber bullying is defined as one of the prohibited acts. Please read the salient points of the anti-bullying act of 2013
Please check the following:
- survey result that defined the local cyberbullying culture
- statistics related to incidence of bullying and cyberbullying in the Philippines
I was asked if there is an applicable law against cyber bullying in the Philippines, given the effectivity of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is today, Oct. 3, 2012.
Cyber bullying is not included on the new cybercrime law, but there are pending bills filed in both houses of congress on this.
update: cyberbullying is part of the anti-bullying act of 2013 but it only covers students up to high school. Adult victims can use the other provisions of the cybercrime law, like libel and identity theft.
For minors, aside from the newly approved law, it’s also widely believed that “Republic Act 7610 also known as Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” is recognized as one of the possible laws that can be used by cyber bullying victims, specially if the act is done outside the school context.
ARTICLE VI- Other Acts of Abuse
Section 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child’s Development. –
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period.
For adults, they can use the provisions of the cybercrime law, like online libel and identity theft if a false account was set-up to perpetuate the act.
Per ACCRA Law, slander, when also done in social media, can also be used for cyber bullying offenders. Aside from criminal liability, victims can seek justice at work, assuming offender is fellow employee. An act similar to cyberbullying can be a ground for termination, provided such policy is clearly stipulated (Sec. 5.2 (g), D.O 147-15). Furthermore, victims can also seek damages, per the Civil Code of the Philippines (Art. 2176, Civil Code).
There is a special challenge to identify the cyberbully since bullying can be done anonymously, or hide behind a pseudo online personality. But according to PH law enforcement groups, they have the capability to trace the identity of the anonymous bully.
Proactive and Preventive Measures
As the pioneer in advocating cyber wellness in the Philippines, we believe one way to reduce if not totally prevent cyber bullying and other cyber abuse incidents is “educate” stakeholders about cyber wellness.
Read: What is Cyber Wellness?
Cyber wellness education is meant to inform stakeholders of the risks associated with the use of smartphone/mobile gadgets, internet and social media, and equip them with a framework to effectively
- set-up a policy against abuses and guidance on how to use said tools for value adding purposes
- set up procedure on how to handle bullying and cyber abuses, and how to help victims.
- develop a curriculum or training program for students, teaching and non teaching staff; and learning session for parents.
- use practical approaches to set-up house rules about internet and gadget use, and engage kids about gaming and social media
- avoid online behaviours that will expose users to risks, observe online ethics and practice online safety behaviours
Here are some of our cyber wellness engagements with teachers as part of their faculty development seminar, and stand alone learning sessions for students, parents, and guidance counsellors.
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