BY JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, Managing Editor
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Philippine Commission on Women has warned public utility drivers against sexual harassment acts while ferrying women passengers.
This is in light of a video circulating online showing a taxi driver pulling his passenger’s hand into his private part.
The commission reminded that gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in public spaces, including public transportation, is penalized under Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act (SSA)
PCW said that GBSH is a form of Violence Against Women (VAW) and is prohibited under relevant laws. Drivers and passengers alike must treat each other with respect to ensure the quality and safety of public transport for all parties.
In their social media post, PCW clarified that under section 6 of the Safe Spaces Act, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) may cancel the license of perpetrators found to have committed acts constituting GBSH in public utility vehicles, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) may suspend or revoke the franchise of transportation operators who commit gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment acts.
Meanwhile, the commission lauded Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Region X, led by Regional Director Aminoden Guro, for his immediate action.
The LTFRB director summoned the said driver of the taxi and warned him of possible sanctions if the same mistakes are reported again.
Director Guro also advised the passenger’s family to file a final complaint against the driver to turn the wheel of investigation. If proven guilty after thorough investigations, the aforementioned sanctions can be imposed on the driver and the operator of the vehicle.
“We also call on all implementing agencies with mandates under the law to be true to their commitments and provide adequate, gender-sensitive, and immediate responses and services to GBSH victims,” the PCW said in a statement.