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Manila passes ordinance vs. cat-calling, wolf-whistling

The local government of Manila has passed an ordinance which aims to ban catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment in the city.

"There are some students na imbes makauwi nang mas maaga, they have to avoid certain streets na alam nilang doon sila pwede mabiktima ng catcalling. So you know the mobility of these women and girls are really affected and their security," said Councilor Krystle Bacani, chairperson of the City's Committee on Women.

According to a 24 Oras report by Tricia Zafra on Monday, the following actions are punishable with imprisonment of between one to 15 days, and/or a fine ranging from two hundred pesos P200 to P1,000), or both:

  • Wolf-whistling
  • Catcalling
  • Leering
  • Persistent requests for name and contact details after a person has conveyed refusal to share these information
  • Cursing
  • Persistent telling of sexual jokes

Meanwhile, those who will be caught "making offensive body gestures with the effect of demeaning, harassing, threatening or intimidating the offended party or exposing private parts for the sexual gratification of the perpetrators" may be put behind bars between one month to three months.

They may also be fined from P1,000 to P3,000.

The report noted that those who are consequently found guilty of the same offense more than once and considered as recidivist will be imposed a fine of three months to six months imprisonment, and/or a fine ranging from P3,000 to P5,000, or both.

Some students lauded the new ordinance of the City of Manila.

"Kung ma-cat-call po ako ulit, magsusumbong na lang din po ako para bigyang parusa 'yung nagcat-call po," one Katrina Quiazon said.

Those who encountered catcalling and other forms of harassment may file their complaints before the City's Prosecutor Office.

It will be free of charge and the complainants may also avail the legal service of lawyers from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), the report said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/NB, GMA News