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Revilla seeks ban on bullying in workplaces

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Senator Bong Revilla has sought an early passsage of a measure prohibiting bullying in government and private offices.

He filed Senate Bill No. (SBN)1217, or the “Anti-Office Bullying Act of 2019,” which seeks to require all government and non-government offices to adopt policies to prevent bullying in places of work.

The senator noted that while Congress has already banned bullying in schools, it has yet to enact a similar law covering private and government offices.

“These kinds of acts hamper peace and tranquility in a professional environment and disrupt the delivery of services to the public,” Revilla said.

Acts of bullying include actual physical harm, foul language, name-calling, harassment on the internet, commenting negatively on one’s looks, clothes or body, spreading rumors, preventing access to the workplace and abusive behavior.

Revilla said bullying not only affects the physical, mental and emotional health but could also cause long-term career problems to a person.

“Bullying in the workplace is often ignored and overlooked by both employers and co-employees, but its consequences are not only on the victim’s emotional health but on his productivity and morale,” he said.

Under the bill, all government and non-government offices, and business establishments, should adopt policies to address bullying in their respective institutions.

The policies should include prohibition on abusive behavior, slanderous statements or accusations, cyberbullying, and similar acts; and clear procedures and strategies to report and penalize such acts.

If signed into law, the offices should formulate and submit to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) their anti-bullying policies.

The DoLE and the CSC should prescribe administrative sanctions for non-compliance with the measure.

In addition, erring non-government offices and business establishments may also suffer the penalty of suspension of their permits to operate.

“This bill seeks to achieve a more peaceful and harmonious professional environment towards a more productive economy,” Revilla said.

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