Total hazing ban hurdles House committee

MANILA — A measure seeking to prohibit all forms of hazing and regulate the initiation rites of fraternities, sororities and other organizations hurdled the committee level at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The House justice committee approved House Bill No. 3467, which proposes amendments to the 20-year old Anti-Hazing Law or Republic Act 8049.

Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, author of the bill, reiterated that the measure has already been “certified as urgent” by the legislative-executive committee even before the death of University of Santo Tomas law student Horatio Castillo III due to fraternity hazing.

Herrera-Dy said the proposed revision makes all forms of hazing illegal, instead of just regulating hazing, with penalties ranging from fines to life imprisonment.

The bill also expands the definition of hazing to cover psychological injuries in addition to physical suffering, as well as beyond just incidences related to gaining membership in an organization.

It also provides the definition of “initiation” and “initiation rites,” which were not included in the current law.

Herrera-Dy also highlighted that community-based fraternities, sororities, and organizations be covered under the proposed law.

School-based fraternities, sororities and organizations will be required to register with school authorities, while community-based organizations will likewise be required to register with their respective local government units.

The solon said the initiation rites of fraternities, sororities, and organizations shall be monitored to “see to it that no hazing is conducted.” Filane Cervantes/ PNA –