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A group called Save the Children Sweden in the Philippines is proposing measures to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment, promote the use of non-violent forms of disciplining children, and outline the role of different government agencies towards this end.

According to Minerva Cabiles, program coordinator for Save the Children Sweden in the Philippines in a recent interview on “Mornings@ANC” spanking children might cause harm than good. Her group is advocating a teaching-oriented method that involves explanation and negotiations with children instead of corporal punishment such as spanking, yelling and cursing.

To start with, she points out that the words discipline and punishment are two entirely different things. Disciplining should not be enforced only in negative situations, but rather has to be a process of relating and communicating to children through teaching and guiding. Corporal punishment, so prevalent in the Philippines, accounts for 85 percent of children being punished at home with 65 percent involving spanking. Beyond the physical pain that the children suffer from is the emotional pain that damages the relationships, instills fear and hatred and the idea that violence is acceptable. In extreme cases, severe corporal punishments can cause serious injury, or worse, lead to a child’s death.

Cabiles further cite studies that found out that corporal punishment humiliate and degrade children instead of teaching them discipline. Such practice is so deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture and to eradicate it, her group’s effort involves raising awareness about the ill effects of corporal punishment and promoting non-violent ways of disciplining. Moreover, she points out that the children’s right to protection against abuse, exploitation and other forms of violence is guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Philippines is a signatory.

The group is thus seeking to replace another bill filed in Congress due to the latter being punitive in nature as it seeks to punish errant parents. This defeats entirely the objective of helping and teaching parents in terms of guiding their children, which the group is advocating.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 9th, 2008 at 11:21 pm and is filed under Philippine Culture, Pinoy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “The Filipino Corporal Punishment of Children (spanking)”

  1. Francis on July 16th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I don’t agree that corporal punishment is to be banned in the Philippines.. There are more benifits that harms… I am a Filipino age 20, College student… If a child has really rough ways, how can you let them understand.. Show us what your country has benifited by implementing that law/norm/law.. Will the Filipino Family survive if it was not for that? We treasure Family..

  2. PDeverit on October 16th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit http://www.nospank.net.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  3. KarlMarx on October 20th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t agree on banning corporal punishment in the Philippines. By implementing such punishment children will be able to understand what’s right and what’s wrong. I also believe in the saying “action speaks louder than words”… Also corporal punishment is only done when the child did something wrong (if it’s not, then we now call it child abuse)…

    Talking to your children after you’ve punished him/her will let him/her know that you’re only doing such thing because you love them… And will also benefit them in the long run…

  4. Brian Stickney on December 24th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I am an american missionary working in the philippines. I can tell you that culture rules here and regardless of what measures you take spanking will be dominant in this society. Its biblical and was endorsed by God. However abuse was not so I would be concerned about making the difference. A hand spanking can do a world of good but a cane or instrument that can harm a child was not God’s intent.

  5. Erik Botner on October 4th, 2011 at 5:25 am

    It is quite a disturbing thing to say that parents striking their children is something “endorsed by God.” A very dangerous and misguided approach to discipline.

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