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HomeFront PageLTFRB launches safe spaces act also known as "Bawal Ang Bastos"

LTFRB launches safe spaces act also known as “Bawal Ang Bastos”

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Regional Office 10 (LTFRB-10) launched “Bawal ang Bastos” safety spaces act, pursuant to LTFRB MC 2023-016, which empowers the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to impose penalties on perpetrators committing gender-based public spaces sexual harassment acts.

No less than LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III from the Central office who led the launching, and it was also graced by all invited LTFRB Regional directors.

Aminoden Guro, who was among the invited regional directors also joined the launching of the said Memo Circular. During the launching, Guro also printed his signature as well as other stakeholders to show their commitment to support the program and uphold women’s rights.

It said that even the 1987 Philippine Constitution has also guaranteed to respect human rights, recognition, and the role of women in nation-building and equality between men and women.

The launching was timely as many women around the country have been experiencing inequality and harassments in public spaces, and they are also victims of spaces sexual harassments, it was learned.

The MC 2023-016, re: Implementation of the Safe Spaces Act Involving Public Land Transportation Services, aims to ensure the safety and convenience, and it is incumbent upon PUV OPERATORS to ensure that no acts of gender-based sexual harassment are committed inside PUVs, or that any commission thereof be properly attended to and reported to the proper authorities.

The MC shall cover all operators who are grantees of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC), Provisional Authority (PA) or Special Permit, as well as their drivers, conductors and employees.

The following are the specific acts of Gender-Based Sexual Harassment as defined under Section 11, Article I of R.A. No. 11313:

1. Cursing, wolf-whistling, catcalling, leering and intrusive gazing, taunting, pursing, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs, persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance, relentless requests for one’s personal details, the use of words, gestures or actions that ridicule based on sex, gender or sexual orientation, identity and/or expression including sexist, homophobic and transphobic statements and slurs, the persistent telling of sexual jokes, use of sexual names, comments and demands, and any statement that has made an invasion on a personal space or threatens the person’s sense of personal safety.

2. Making offensive body gesture at someone and exposing private parts for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator with the effect of demanding, harassing, threatening, or intimidating the offended party, including flashing of private parts, public masturbation, groping and similar lewd actions;

3. Stalking and any of the acts mentioned in items 1 and 2, when accompanied by touching, pinching or brushing against the body of the offended person; or touching, pinching or brushing against the genitalia, face, arms, anus, groin, breasts, inner thighs, faces, buttocks, or any part of the victim’s body even when not accompanied by acts mentioned in items 1 and 2.

If the PUV operator or his/her/its driver, conductor and employees commit any of the aforementioned acts while inside the PUV or within the premises of the terminal, the following shall be imposed:

a. First offense – Fine of P5,000 and suspension of the involved vehicle for six (6) months;

b. Second offense – Fine of P10,000 and suspension of the involved vehicle for one (1) year;

c. Third offense – Fine of P15,000 and revocation of CPC.

If the PUV operator or his/her/its driver, conductor and employees fail to act or do anything to avoid or prevent the commission or report to the proper authorities any of the acts of gender-based sexual harassment as enumerated in the MC, the following shall be imposed:

a. First offense – Fine of P5,000;

b. Second offense – Fine of P10,000 and suspension of the involved vehicle for three (3) months;

c. Third offense – Fine of P15,000 and revocation of CPC.

The Board may, in addition to the above penalties, recommend to the Assistant Secretary of LTO for the suspension or cancellation of the driver’s license.

Further, all PUV operators (except TH service) are required to post in two (2) conspicuous places inside the PUV signage using the format provided in the MC, to be printed on an A4 size bond paper.

Failure to comply with the posting shall violate the terms and conditions of the Certificate of Public Convenience, and appropriate penalties shall be imposed under Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01.

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