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On Intl Women’s Day, youth launch coalition to amend to Safe Spaces Act

Safe Spaces Act
On International Women's day, Safer Campuses Ph, a youth coalition seeking to amend the Safe Spaces Act held a picket at the Professional Regulation Commission as they submitted their position paper urging the agency to revoke the professional licenses of campus predators and blacklisting them from employment in other campuses.

Safer Campuses Ph, a newly launched coalition of student organizations and councils across the country called for revisions to the Safe Spaces Act (SSA) amidst the persistence of campus-based sexual harassment despite its ratification five years ago.

“We cannot wait for another victim before our legislators and education officials admit that they have failed to protect students,” said Sophie Reyes, lead convener of Enough Is Enough, a convening member organization of the coalition.

Since the enactment of the SSA, the group has monitored at least 61 schools with campus predators, many remain employed in the schools or have transferred to a different school without facing administrative and criminal charges and possibly committing the same offenses.

Safe Spaces Act

“It is distressing that instead of bringing about sweeping reforms in the education sector to stamp out campus predators and their enablers, the SSA has miserably failed to serve as a deterrent”. Reyes added.

“Now that officials are busy discussing the liberalization and foreign control of universities, gender justice seems to be farther than it was before the SSA,” she claimed.

This week’s hearings on the proposed charter change have focused on provisions concerning foreign ownership of the education sector.

The coalition joined women’s organizations and progressive groups for the Women’s Day program in Mendiola to protest against the proposed charter change.

Safe Spaces Act

Afterward, Safer Campuses Ph proceeded to the Professional Regulation Commission head office at Sampaloc, Manila, and personally delivered its position paper on the need to revoke professional licenses of campus predators and strip them of the authority to teach and work with students.

Safer Campuses Ph carries 5 major demands regarding amendments to the law 1) mandating schools to provide psychological, legal, and financial support for victim-survivors, 2) predators and enablers being charged with criminal and administrative cases, 3) revoking professional licenses and the blacklisting of campus predators, 4) establishing a publicly-available national registry of sex offenders, and 5) non-retaliatory policy to protect students from enabling school administrators.

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