On October 28, members of the Commission of Women (PCW) and the Technical Drafting Committee (TDC) signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act, otherwise known as “Bawal Bastos” law.
According to a report from Inquirer.net, RA 11313, Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2019, provides that “the actions or deeds which are considered as gender-based street and public spaces sexual harassment are committed through unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person, regardless of the motive.”
The IRR signing of RA 1131 helps to strengthen the existing laws and policies against gender-based harassment and violence in public spaces. These acts include catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs, persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance; relentless requests for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions; public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping, or any unwanted advances.
It also includes gender-based online sexual harassment using technology and the internet in terrorizing and intimidating victims through physical, psychological, and emotional threats, unwanted misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist remarks and comments.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is the primary author of the law said, “This is a historic day! Finally, we have an IRR for the Bawal Bastos Law. The days of these rude people and whoever commits gender-based public harassment are numbered.”
Senator Hontiveros also said, “If fully implemented, it will promote progressive changes in many aspects and levels. This will also reform our current laws and policies related to gender-based public harassment.” She added, “It will change our mindset and use of language on women and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender). This will also promote new and positive culture to Filipinos in exchange for rude behavior and violence in our streets.”
Fines for those who are found guilty of sexual harassment, cyberstalking, invasion of privacy, and harassment in educational institutions will face fines of P100,000 to P500,000.
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