It takes a community effort to stop bullying, including parents and teachers, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said.
Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), said that without the community bullying is hard to stop.
“The better solution is not simply reporting but building and promoting a safe culture and environment especially for the young and vulnerable,” said Alarcon, who is also the bishop of Daet diocese.
“We call on everyone, as we commit ourselves, to raise awareness and promote a culture of safety, of peace and solidarity. This is a call to go back to the family, the school and our small communities,” he said.
The bishop made the statement after a recent senate hearing revealed that the country is the most problematic in the world for bullying among over 70 countries.
Citing a report of the Program for International Student Assessment, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that seven out of 10 students in Philippine public schools have suffered bullying.
The senator, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, stressed the figure accounts to about 17.5 million students that have been bullied across the country.
Gatchalian also said the data were consistent with the World Health Organization (WHO) report, which showed that 40.6 percent of children aged 13 to 17 have experienced bullying in various forms.
Bishop Alarcon said that they are saddened by the increase of bullying incidents in our country, but again asserted that “it is not only an educational problem.” “It should be a concern for all,” he said.
“We are sorry for the victims of bullying. Let us strive to end the cycle of bullying where it exists, for we are capable of kindness, trust and love,” he added.
“May our faith in a loving God lead us to work for a more humane society and continue to deepen the bonds of our common humanity as we foster respect for fellow human beings and for all creation,” Alarcon also said.