Duterte signs bill that punishes ‘sexist’ remarks

‘Anti-bastos’ bill seeks to prevent sexual harassment, including catcalling

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the anti-bastos bill, which seeks to prevent gender-based sexual harassment from occurring in streets, public places, online workplaces, and educational and training institutions.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the law’s principal authors, said in late May that the bill had lapsed into law, but a copy of the new law that Malacañang released to the public on Monday, July 15, reveals that Duterte signed it last April 17.

Under the Republic Act 11313 or the “Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act,” those who commit any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person will be fined P1,000 to P10,000, and may also be imprisoned for 1 month.

Among these unwanted and uninvited acts include cursing, wolf-whistling, catcalling, leering and intrusive gazing, taunting, as well as saying misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs.

Meanwhile, those who make offensive body gestures, expose private parts, and grope will be fined P10,000 to P20,000, and may also be imprisoned for six months.

For those who stalk, make sexual advances, or touch any part of the victim’s body, they will be fined P30,000 to P100,000, and may also be imprisoned for 6 months.

Local government units shall pass corresponding anti-catcalling ordinances, while the Philippine National Police and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will apprehend those who violate the law. (AJPress)

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