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Philippines lawmaker seeks to declare ‘ghosting’ an emotional offense

A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to declare the act of “ghosting” a form of emotional abuse.

Ghosting simply means ending communication with someone without explanation.

In House Bill No. 611 which was released to the media on Tuesday, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. said ghosting causes trauma as it “develops feelings of rejection and neglect.”

“Studies have shown that social rejection of any kind activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain, meaning there’s a biological link between rejection and pain. That goes for friends and partners, alike,” Teves said.

“It can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offense,” he added.

In an interview Teves explained the emotional abuse caused by ghosting is also detrimental to the nation’s productivity.

“If you’re a worker that is not in a good state of mind, yung trabaho mo ay hindi ganun kaganda dahil na-ghost ka (your work will be affected because you have been ghosted),” Teves said.

The lawmaker added he did not indicate any proposed penalty as he needs to consult his colleagues in further refining the measure.

“For me, the offense should not be heavy. We can an impose a penalty of community service for offenders to realize that ghosting is not right,” Teves said.