Government Forms Task
Force To Boost Anti-Hazing Law
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. has signed a memorandum circular for the creation of an interagency task force in order to step up government’s response to fraternity violence and strengthen the implementation of the Anti-Hazing Law.
“President Aquino shares the concern of many parents and educators over the violations of the Anti-Hazing Law,” Ochoa said.
“The task force seeks to address the need to ensure that there is justice for hazing fatalities and their families. At the same time, we have to look at whether the law can be improved so that its objectives are met.”
Under Memorandum Circular No. 68 which Ochoa signed on August 28, the Secretary of Justice will lead the task force and will be given the full executive authority within the law to carry out the functions of the interagency body.
The task force chair may also give direct operational instructions to any member agencies, which include the Departments of National Defense and the Interior and Local Government, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine National Police, the National Youth Commission and the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.
One of the key functions of the interagency task force is to review the Anti-Hazing Law or Republic Act No. 8049, which was put in place in 1995 in order to prevent fraternity violence similar to the back-to-back incidents involving students from two prominent universities in July 2014.
The interagency body is also tasked to formulate policies and develop modes of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of programs, projects and guidelines to prevent hazing fatalities, according to the memorandum circular which takes effect immediately.
The task force is ordered to submit a periodic report to the Office of the President./MP