Senate passes bill to penalize catcalling, public harassment

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FILE PHOTO. The Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading a bill that seeks to penalize catcalling and other forms of public harassment.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — The Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading a bill that seeks to penalize catcalling and other forms of public harassment.

Senate Bill No. 1326 or the "Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017" aims to penalize catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, groping, persistent requests for name and contact details, use of words tending to ridicule based on actual or perceived sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation and identity in public spaces.

Violators will be fined at least ₱1,000 and may be detained for up to six months.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, principal author of the bill and head of the Senate Committee on Women, praised the passage of the bill, calling it a "major push back" against "growing culture of misogyny and sexism in the country."

"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," she said.