San Fernando City – The Human Resource Development Division conducted a webinar to orient DepEd personnel on Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act, held December 7.
The said webinar, attended by almost 100 Gender and Development (GAD) advocates from the regional and division offices, is part of DepEd’s observance of the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women.
“Penalizing cat-calling, wolf-whistling, misogynistic, and homophobic slurs, unwanted sexual advances, and other forms of sexual harassment in public places, schools, as well as online spaces, is the very essence of the Safe Spaces Act or more popular as the Bawal Bastos Law,” Major Monette Balderas, of the Women and Children Protection Unit of the PNP Regional Office, said.
She added, “the new law does not supersede the original Anti-Sexual Harassment Act or the R.A. 9262, it likewise intersects with other related laws like the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act or RA.A. 7610.”
Balderas reiterated that workplaces and educational institutions are mandated to create a Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) to investigate and address sexual-related complaints.
“If there are complaints, schools need to investigate possible abusers, take action, and report to local police authorities, ensuring the full confidentiality of these cases,” Balderas said.
The theme for this year is “Filipino Marespeto; Safe Spaces Kasali Tayo!”
The annual 18-day campaign to end violence against women commences every Nov 25 and ends on December 12.
By Joan Diaz-Sabado, Public Affairs Unit