Senator Risa Hontiveros described the “Bawal Bastos Law” a game changer as it would promote positive policy, behavioral and cultural changes to end gender-based harassment in public spaces.
She welcomed on Monday the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11313, also known as the Safe Spaces Act or the Bawal Bastos Law.
In a signing ceremony in Ortigas, Hontiveros said the law was a “game-changing” measure that would help in ending gender-based harassment and violence in public places and communities.
She noted the measure would strengthen existing laws and policies against gender-based harassment.
“This is a historical day. At last, the Bawal Bastos Law read has an IRR. Tne days of ‘Boy Bastos’ and all those who will resort to gender-based public harassment are already counted,” Hontiveros said.
If fully implemented, she said the law would promote progressive changes in many aspects and levels.
She said this law would reform our laws and policies on gender-based public harassment.
“This would change our attitude and use of languages to women and the LGBT. This would push for a new and positive culture to Filipinos, replacing a rude culture on the road,” Hontiveros stressed.
Hontiveros, the law’s principal author and sponsor at the Senate, said the law’s IRR, which was subjected to intense review by government agencies, advocacy groups and members of the academe, would pave the way for the law’s full, just and effective implementation.
“I am confident that the IRR is appropriate and sufficient to ensure that the provisions of the law are easily understood, that offenders will be held accountable while ensuring due process, and most importantly, that victims are assured of justice and assistance to help them recover and move on,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros, also the chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, thanked various government agencies led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and partner organizations, advocates and women and LGBT groups that worked hard in drafting the measure’s IRR.
“I am happy to have worked with all of you in pushing for this important and long-sought reform. We will soon have a better chance towards safer streets for all, thanks to your collective effort and sacrifices,” she said.