Apparently, a spate of anger and condemnations from netizens have gone viral due to the death of two engineering students on separate place and time recently committed by a well-known and respected fraternity– The Tau Gama Phi (TGP).

Again, these unexpected incidents spurred me to consult Google app and Merriam Webster dictionary in my CP app.

In an article titled ” Fraternity Hazing: What You Have To Know As A Freshman in the Philippines”, Kat Lungub , (April 6, 2018) writes, thus: ” When entering college in the Philippines, one of the many options you have, aside from which school and what course to take, is to choose whether you will join school organization–fraternities included. Many students are still attracted to joining these brotherhoods and sisterhoods despite the allegations of hazing throughout the years. But what really is a fraternity and what are its pros and cons? she added.

The PROS are as follows: 1) ACADEMIC SUPPORT — A fraternity is an organization of male students with shared interests, principles, and purpose. Fraternities encourage academic excellence among its members who are also expected to help their brothers with academic needs. Fraternities have been established from decades ago. You’ll find some of the oldest and most prestigious fraternities in many universities and top higher education institutions around the country. Thus, the part of a big Organization like a fraternity can prove to be beneficial.

2) SOCIAL OPPORTUNITIES —Joining a fraternity can also help in building an instant network. This network gives an edge to young professionals who are starting their careers as many opportunities can spring from having a lot of connections. It’s no secret that fraternities have alumni in powerful positions in government, business and judiciary among others.

3) BROTHERHOOD — Fraternity frequently organize meet-ups and massive events that can also create strong bonds. These friendships could last beyond college because of the sense of loyalty and brotherhood that fraternities instill in their members.

In his senior high school research study, Melvin R. Fontanilla, III- Diamond (March 2011) defines fraternity as a group of people united in a relationship, having some common interests, activity, and purpose. It is a brotherhood, as members usually safe, of people, at a college or university usually characterized by Greek letters. For members, fraternity means brotherhood, unity, friendship, trust and acceptance. It means meeting new people, sharing interests and accepting others as well. It helps in building confidence and character because of so many reasons, time and opportunities.

Fontanilla (2011) added: “For many years now, many students are getting killed due to fraternity hazing. Almost all students from the xxxxx. Still, students risk serious injury or even death for the privilege of fraternity membership.

Be that as it may, fraternities and sororities were created as a place to foster academic, community service, and social initiatives that are unique to each chapter. Fraternity and Sorority life is based on the tenets of friendship, leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy. Truly, a fraternity is good in that social involvement, networking and academic supports are all common benefits students gain from fraternities. Fraternities aren’t for everyone, though. The costs of membership and the requirements to pledge and stay involved are common deterrents. Worse, in rare but serious cases, it leads to permanent loss of life, future and opportunities to members, neophytes and disgruntled, and bereaving parents crying for justice.

Republic Act No. 11053, otherwise known as “AN ACT PROHIBITING HAZING AND REGULATING OTHER FORMS OF INITIATION RITES OF FRATERNITIES, SORORITIES AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8049, ENTITLED “AN ACT REGULATING HAZING AND OTHER FORMS OF INITIATION RITES IN FRATERNITIES, SORORITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR” has been enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled states, thus: Section 1. A new section denominated as Section 1 is hereby inserted in R. A. No. 8049, to read as follows: Section 1. Short Title–This Act shall be known as the ” Anti-Hazing Act of 2018″.

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate No. 1662 and House Bill No. 6573 was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on March 12, 2018 and March 13, 2018, respectively; approved on June 29, 2018 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Penalties under Section 14 include reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million, 2 million and 1 million etc. depending on the decision by the Court based on evidence and extent of participation by members involved in the hazing that led to the deaths of a third year chemical engineering student somewhere in Laguna and a second year civil engineering student several months ago in Cebu, committed by the alleged same fraternity.