Catcalling And Wolf-Whistling Will Now Be Penalized Under The ‘Bawal Bastos Law’

President Duterte signed the ‘Bawal Bastos’ law which covers the series of catcalling and any other gender-based harassment in both public places and online that may endanger the victim and their reputation.

Safe Spaces Act under Republic Act 11313 was signed by President Duterte last April 17 but the information regarding the matter was released to the media last Monday, July 15.

It is stated in Safe Spaces Act, that whatever gender-based actions on the street and public places a person commit should not be tolerated regardless of who they are and their status in life.

“It is the policy of the state to value the dignity of every human person and guarantee full respect for human rights. It is likewise the policy of the state to recognize the role of women in nation-building and ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.” the law states.

It is also emphasized that “The state also recognizes that both men and women must have equality, security, and safety not only in private, but also on the streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational and training institutions.”

This law covers the following violations “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 unwanted advances.”

Invasion of the privacy in the way of cyberstalking, the act of uploading unauthorized photos, videos and information that does not have the approval of the victim online which potentially damages the reputation of the person will be considered as sexual harassment.