By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY --- Fraternities and sororities inside school campuses in the city will have to be careful about recruiting new members into their fold without violating the salient provisions of the anti-hazing law that President Duterte signed on June 29, this year.
Aside from putting on hold the conduct of initiation rites and other activities, especially those that involve physical contact and the traditional bodily harm, the frats have decided to temporarily defer the recruitment of new members until they are completely familiar with, or knowledgeable, about the law.
RA 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 prohibits all forms of hazing and imposes harsher penalties on hazing death.
The law introduces an expanded definition of hazing, which includes “physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a recruit, neophyte, applicant or member as part of an initiation rite or a requirement for continuing membership in a fraternity or sorority or organization.”
It amends Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, which has been criticized for being ineffective and weak. There was only one conviction since it was passed 23 years ago.
In a meeting organized by the office of City Councilor Jose SA Del Rosario, which was called to inform the community about the new law, the attending Punong Barangays and representatives of different fraternities and sororities along with school officials and police authorities have agreed to support the measure.
The meeting was also participated in by barangay kagawads who are in charge of the respective peace and order committees of the city’s 27 barangays.
“We have come up with a memorandum of agreement with various youth organizations in the community and schools as we manifest our support to the government’s anti-hazing law,” says Del Rosario.
He added the effort should be collective wherein every sector in society has its own role if only to ensure the safety and protection of every individual joining the fraternities.