SENATOR Risa Hontiveros welcomed the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act or the “Bawal Bastos” Law.
“The Bawal Bastos Law is a game changer. It will promote positive policy, behavioral and cultural changes to end gender-based harassment in public spaces,” Hontiveros said.
In a signing ceremony held in Ortigas, Hontiveros said the law is a “game-changing” measure that will help in ending gender-based harassment and violence in public places and communities.
She explained that the measure will strengthen existing laws and policies against gender-based harassment.
“Isa itong makasaysayang araw! Sa wakas, may IRR na ang Bawal Bastos Law! Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga ‘Boy Bastos’ at lahat ng sino man na gagawa ng gender-based public harassment,” Hontiveros said.
“If fully implemented, it will promote progressive changes in many aspects and levels. Rerepormahin nito ang ating mga batas at polisiya ukol sa gender-based public harassment. Babaguhin nito ang ating pag-uugali at paggamit ng ating lengwahe sa mga kababaihan at LGBT. Magtutulak ito ng bago at positibong kultura sa mga Pilipino kapalit ng kultura ng kabastusan at karahasan sa ating lansangan,” Hontiveros stressed.
Hontiveros, who is the law’s principal author and sponsor at the Senate, said the law’s IRR which was subjected to intense review by government agencies, advocacy groups and members of the academe, will pave the way for the law’s full, just and effective implementation.
“I am confident that the IRR is appropriate and sufficient to ensure that the provisions of the law are easily understood, that offenders will be held accountable while ensuring due process, and most importantly, that victims are assured of justice and assistance to help them recover and move on,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros, who is also the chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, thanked various government agencies led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and partner organizations, advocates and women and LGBT groups that worked hard in drafting the measure’s IRR.
“I am happy to have worked with all of you in pushing for this important and long-sought reform. We will soon have a better chance towards safer streets for all, thanks to your collective effort and sacrifices,” she said.