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House Approves Bill for Teacher Protection and Support: Amendments to RA 7610

House Approves Bill for Teacher Protection and Support: Amendments to RA 7610

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives’ Basic Education and Culture Committee gave the green light, with certain modifications and pending the submission of position papers by experts and guests, to a substitute bill intended to systematize support and protection for educators.

The committee’s chair, Representative Roman Romulo of Pasig City, highlighted that the crux of the legislation is Section 5. This section provides an exemption for teachers from the Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as the Child Abuse Law. Romulo lamented situations where educators, who had done nothing wrong, suddenly find themselves facing legal actions, thereby putting their retirement pay at risk.

The proposed legislation, which extends to all school staff, replaces House Bills 364, 549, and 6940, which were put forth by Representatives Marissa ‘Del Mar’ Magsino, France Castro, and Edwin Olivarez.

Representative Castro stressed the importance of teacher protection, asserting that while the safeguarding of children is non-negotiable, teachers too require protection. The bill proposes modifications to RA 7610, such that any action taken by a teacher or school personnel in line with the disciplinary guidelines and processes of the Department of Education (DepEd) would not be construed as child abuse.

Castro’s proposal seeks to formalize support mechanisms for teachers and school staff concerning classroom management and discipline.