Philippines tops 70 countries in bullying, PISA data reveals – Gatchalian
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has revealed disturbing statistics, citing that the Philippines is the most problematic in the world for bullying among over 70 countries.
Gatchalian expressed disbelief as he presided over Monday’s hearing of the Senate committee on basic education, where he mentioned the information on bullying from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
The panel chair stressed that it is safe to say that 17.5 million students have been bullied across the Philippines. This figure was confirmed by the Child Protection Network Foundation (CPNF) during the hearing.
A 2016 National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children led by the Council for the Welfare of Children indicated that 65% of Filipino students have been bullied nationwide, according to CPNF Executive Director Bernadette Madrid.
The PISA data apparently found the same percentage in its assessment. However, it was not clear when the PISA study was conducted.
“There is bullying across all nations. It’s happening. But, the disparity is so glaring. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average is around 20 percent. Even if you look at the average, we’re triple the average of the PISA assessment,” Gatchalian said.
“Na-shock ako dito (I’m shocked) that [the] Philippines is the number 1 among 70 plus countries in terms of bullying. It’s something that is really bothering me ever since I saw this,” he added.
Madrid said the 2016 National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children was conducted among children aged 13 to 17, who were asked if they had experienced bullying.
Gatchalian asked Madrid: “If we do the simple math and apply it to our student population from Grades 1 to Grades 12, 65 percent is about 17.5 million… So, is it safe to conclude that 17.5 million students experienced some form of bullying in our country?”
“Yes,” answered Madrid, who also noted information from the Department of Education (DepEd) that for the School Year 2022-2023, there are more than 27 million enrolled students.
Save the Children Philippines Child Protector Advisor Wilma Banaga said that most of the 65% of bullied students were females, at 70.5%.
Among the common triggers for bullying, said Banaga, are physical appearance, status in life, and skin color.
Citing another study called Systematic Literature Review of the Drivers of Violence Against Children, Banaga said that children with disabilities and those belonging in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community “were more prone to experiencing violence.”
The DepEd earlier reported that 404 learners nationwide killed themselves while 2,147 others attempted suicide during Academic Year 2021-2022.