Caning is a widely-used form of legal corporal punishment in Singapore. The most severe is judicial-type, this is for male convicts under the age of 50, as substitute for short prison terms or in combination with prison terms and fines, for a wide range of offences under the Criminal Procedure Code. If the offender is under 18, he may receive up to 10 strokes of the cane, but a lighter cane will be used in this case. Boys under 16 may be sentenced to caning only by the High Court.

We should emulate the Singaporean, Malaysian and Brunei form of corporal punishment in our penal code, this way, we don’t have to imprison those convicted of minor offenses that traditionally warranted a few months’ imprisonment. This will help ease our prison system’s over-congestion and it will be safer especially for young offenders who will be spared the potentially-deadly perils of Philippine prison life. Besides, this is also an effective deterrent to petty criminals as shown by the Singaporean, Malaysian and Brunei models.

So-called western “values” aren’t necessarily applicable to all cultures so we should adapt systems that work for ours (although this practice started in Asia from the British). We urge Congress to consider passing an amendment allowing caning into our penal laws – because incarceration in Philippine jails pose a much more brutal and inhuman punishment for petty criminals.