The Commission on Human Rights on Thursday lauded the passage of the Safe Streets, Public Spaces and Workplace Act or the “Bawal Bastos” bill.
The agency’s lawyer-spokesperson, Jacqueline Ann de Guia, lamented that women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexed and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community have long been at the receiving end of catcalling, wolf-whistling, and obscene remarks in public spaces.
“While there are cities in the Philippines, such as Manila and Quezon City, that passed local ordinances punishing such acts, a national legislation further strengthens the commitment to curb gender-based sexual harassment in streets, schools, workplaces, and other similar places,” she said.
Law enforcement agencies must ensure that the new measure is fully implemented, the Commission said.
“To achieve its purpose, the Commission looks forward to its meaningful implementation to ensure that the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged are protected in every part of the country,” De Guia said.
“The greater challenge to us all is to work on a society that is free from discrimination, a community safe to express one’s self, and a country with respect to everyone’s rights and dignity,” she added.