‘Harassment should go beyond women’s month’

TO CULMINATE the celebration of International Women’s Month, Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya Owa Party List Representative Sharon Garin echoed the call for the enactment of the Safe Street, Public and Online Spaces Act (House Bill 8794).

The House Bill aims to penalize acts that invades a victim’s sense of personal safety on the streets, in public spaces, and online.

The bicameral report has been ratified by the Senate last February 6.

As co-author of the bill, Deputy Speaker Garin stressed that the campaign against sexual harassment should not only be limited to the celebration of International Women’s Month and that all Filipinos, in their own capacity, can contribute to making this country a place that upholds the culture of respect.

She further underscored the need to expedite the passage of the bill in order to start the national campaign for the awareness of the law, which shall be led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other accredited women’s groups.

Upon the enactment of the bill, Metro Manila enforcers and the local unit enforcers of the Philippine National Police for other provinces shall be deputized as Anti-Sexual Harassment Enforcers to apprehend harassers and enforce the law provided that they have undergone Gender Sensitivity Training.

The PCW, DILG, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology will be in-charged with oversight of the law and shall formulate policies as needed for the strict implementation of the measure.

Deputy Speaker Garin also clarified a common misconception that the bill is only focused on women and maintained that the bill is anchored on the principles of respect and equality, and shall benefit all Filipinos regardless of gender and/or gender orientation. (PR)


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