A bill penalizing catcalling and other public harassments passed on the final reading yesterday, October 8,2018. Senator Risa Hontiveros is the principal author of the bill and head of the Senate Committee on Women.
According to her, “at a time when sexism and misogyny seem to be the new normal, this is an important victory for all women and LGBT persons. With this measure, we will reclaim the streets from sexual harassers and make them safe for all.”
Senate Bill No. 1326 or the “Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017” aims to penalize catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, groping, persistent requests for name and contact details, use of words tending to ridicule based on actual or perceived sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation and identity in public spaces.
Moreover, the bill has three kinds of violations: light, medium, and severe which are also associated with different penalties.
The light violations include cursing, wolf-whistling, catcalling, leering, persistent requests for information, the use of ridicule words including sexist, homophobic and transphobic slurs, or the persistent telling of sexual jokes.
These violations are punishable through a fine of P1,000 and/or community service of 8 hours inclusive of a Gender Sensitivity Seminar by the Philippine National Police, local government unit, and the Philippine Commission on Women for first offense.
Second offense would face 6 to 10 days imprisonment or a fine of P2,000. Third time violators would be jailed for 11 to 30 days or a fine of P3,000.
Under medium violations are: offensive body gestures at someone, exposing private parts meant to demean, harass, threaten, or intimidate the offended party. Penalty for first offense would be punished by a fine of P3,000 and/or an 8-hour community service and Gender Sensitivity Seminar; Second offense, 11 to 30 days of imprisonment or a fine of P4,000; and Third offense, 1 to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of P5,000.
Severe violations are stalking, acts previously mentioned that are accompanied by touching, pinching or brushing against the body of a person; or any touching, pinching, or brushing against the genitalia and other body parts of the victim.
11 to 30 days of jailtime or a fine of P4,000, with a Gender Sensitivity Seminar would be the penalty for incurring these violations and second offense shall be punished by 1 to 6 months of imprisonment or a fine of P5,000. Third offense shall be punished by 1 to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of P10,000.
The bill also includes face cancellation of license and revocation of franchise for violators in public utility vehicles.
- Senate passes bill to penalize catcalling, public harassment
- Senate approves bill punishing catcalling, street harassment