The series of a countrywide public consultation for government and civil society stakeholders is spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women and Global Humanitarian and Development Organization and Plan International Philippines.
The Safe Spaces Act defines all acts gender – based sexual harassment in streets, public spaces, online (all platforms), workplaces and education or training institutions as well as the protective measures and the corresponding penalties.
Public spaces refer to streets and alleys, public parks, schools, buildings, malls, bars, restaurants, transportation terminals, public markets, spaces used as evacuation centers, government offices, public utility vehicles, as well as private vehicles covered by App-based transport network services, and other recreational spaces such as cinema halls, theaters and spa, among others.
Gender – based streets and public spaces sexual harassments includes catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slur, persistent uninvited comments of gestures on a person’s appearance, relentless request for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions, public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping or any advances, whether verbal or physical, that is unwanted and has threatened one’s sense of personal space and physical safety.
For gender – based online harassments, it includes acts that use information communication technology in terrorizing and intimidating victims through physical, psychological and emotional threats; unwanted sexual, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist remarks and comments online, whether publicly or through direct and private messages.
Invasion of victim’s privacy through cyberstalking and incessant messaging; uploading and sharing without the consent of the victim; any form of media that contains photos, voice or video with sexual content; any unauthorized recording and sharing of any of the victim’s photos, videos or any information online; impersonating identities of victims online or posting lies about victims to harm their reputation; or filing false abuse reports to online platforms to silence victims.Signed into law on April 17, 2019 and became effective last August 3, RA 11313 will be fully implemented with the scheduled release of its IRR on October 28.
City Council Committee on Laws chairperson Betty Lourdes Tabanda, in welcoming the convenors and participants of the consultation, affirmed the city government of Baguio’s strong commitment towards the protection of the rights and welfare of women and children. She assured that the city council will align the existing ordinance on the safe spaces to RA 11313. (JDP/CC-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar