We’ve got good news, everyone! Yesterday, the Senate passed the Senate Bill No. 1326 or the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017, which seeks to penalize public harassment, including catcalling, groping, wolf-whistling, leering, cursing, persistent requests for name and contact details, and the use of words tending to ridicule based on sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, and sexual identity.
The fine for violators would be Php1,000. They may also be detained for up to six months.
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This is especially a huge victory for women and the LGBT community alike in this day and age of victim-shaming. As Senator Risa Hontiveros, principal author of the bill and head of the Senate Committee on Women, put it, “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.”
Sigh. Don’t we all dream of safe streets? Let’s hope we’ll get there one day.