Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a bill into law penalizing acts of sexual harassment including catcalling, wolf-whistling and persistent telling of sexual jokes. Officials released a copy of the Republic Act 11313, known as the “Safe Spaces Act,” on Monday, which Duterte signed in April.
Bars, restaurants, cinemas and other public places are required to have visible warning signs against potential sexual harassers, including a hotline number to allow reporting of offenses.
The act prohibits: “Gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment includes catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs, persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance, relentless requests for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions, public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping or any advances, whether verbal or physical that is unwanted and has threatened one’s sense of personal space such as alleys, roads, sidewalks, and parks.”
The new law also requires establishments to immediately contact with local police authorities immediately after gender-based sexual harassment is reported. This law represents a push towards equality and safety in the Philippines.