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Anti-Planking Act of 2011 Filed by QC Rep. Winnie Castelo Earns Criticisms

Rep. Winston "Winnie" Castelo of the 2nd District of Quezon City, has file a bill known as the "Anti-Planking Act of 2011".

The bill which seeks to prohibit "planking" as a form of protest raised after a group of students called League of Filipino Students staged a "die-in" protest in the form of planking to block vehicles during a transport strike along a main street in Welcome Rotonda, Espana in Metro Manila yesterday, September 19, 2011.

QC Rep. Winston "Winnie" Castelo during the Press Statement on Planking in Street Protest Actions

"I was really worried as a parent. I have kids. I was also a UP student and I sympathize with them. It is normal to air their grievances and I welcome that as a lawmaker. However, as a parent, we have to see to it that their lives are protected as well," Castelo told ABS-CBN.

Although he gave an assurance that the proposed Anti-Planking Act of 2011 will not prohibit the constitutional right of freedom of expression, Castelo proposed the creation of a universal Code of Student Conduct "where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof."

He also urged schools and universities officials to impose sanctions on students who conduct planking to air their grievances especially when it poses a danger to themselves or to the public.

The Congressman is also thinking of what sanctions could be imposed on ordinary citizens who conduct planking protests.

Here is the full details of the Anti-Planking Act of 2011 filed by QC Rep. Winston "Winnie" Castelo as posted at website:

In quick denunciation of what members of the League of Filipino Students did during the September 19 transport strike along Espana road in Sampaloc, Manila to show support to PISTON, Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo was prompted to file a bill to address an important concern.

In his bill, also known as the “Anti-Planking Act of 2010”, Castelo feared that planking will be used as a template of subsequent street rallies or protest actions initiated by students to express redress of grievances against the status quo.

“The parent in me tells me that this precedent in the case of the this massive transport strike where militant street protesters who are students of various schools have to lie down or serve as ‘planks’ across the road to disrupt what should be normal traffic could just be very dangerous in the future. Life and limb are pretty much at risks here were unbelieving bus drivers or law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways”, Castelo strongly pointed out.

Indeed, in his proposed bill, the well-intentioned solon wants that a Code of Student Conduct be drafted to be implemented by Dep Ed in the case of elementary and high school students and the CHED in the case of college students who may have militant or radical student leaders engaged in street protests or demonstrations.

Castelo in the Explanatory Note of his legislative measure said, “Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed if these similar protest actions will have as a scheme and scene otherwise warm and living bodies laid down across street highways as though they were offerings to the gods”.

Thus for the solon, “lest this picture read in newspapers or posted in the internet might evolve into a new mindset that just might go viral or very contagious, let it be nipped in the bud. The Filipino psyche of our young children in school is under attack – right here and now”.

Relatedly, there were already some solons who also raised the same fears of what happened during this September 19 transport strike.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Planking Act of 2011”.

SEC. 2. A universal Code of Student Conduct is hereby prescribed where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.

SEC. 3. Under this Act, planking is when a student or group of students lies face down in unusual locations especially in streets or other public places, keeping the hands along the body and the feet outstretched and especially where such act is meant as a form of redress of grievance against government.

SEC. 4 Every bonafide student from any school, college or university shall conduct himself with high degree of discipline and propriety.

SEC. 5. The Department of Education in the case of elementary and high school students and the Commission on Higher Education in the case of college students shall draft a universal Code of Student Conduct to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Further, DepEd and CHED, respectively shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to effectively carry out intent and purpose of this Act.

SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect ninety (90) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation.


Hours after Castelo filed the "Anti-Planking Act of 2011," social media and the networld went abuzz and announced their reactions (all of them negative) on the proposed bill.

Here are just some out of 1,000+ of them (and still counting) on twitter:

FakeNoynoy said: "I worry about the fate of the Filipino people due to the current level of idiocy in congress. Anti-Planking Act of 2011? SRSLY?!"

iamtimyap: "I'll plank to that. “@planetchuckie: The Anti-Planking Act of 2011 is even more useless and absurd than the act of planking itself."

SarahMaeyer twitted "Anti-Planking Act of 2011 is so non-sense and stupid. There are too many problems we have to fix than this one. Wake up people!"

jobdeleon: "Anti-Planking Act of 2011 trending worldwide. Prepare to be embarrassed, Philippines. Sinasayang niyo naman yung good int'l PR ni Shamcey!"

mjfelipe wrote: "Imagine, the taxes they collect from our earnings, pinapasweldo sa congressman na magpapasa ng Anti planking Act of 2011! Mahiya ka naman!"

renguray said: "Joke of the century! Rep. Winnie Castelo files "Anti-Planking Act of 2011" denounces the use of "planking" as a form of protest...."

Photo credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco