Dagupan bans whistling, catcalling women 

September 10, 2018 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY – While President Duterte trivializes rape, in this city, a legislator wants those who catcall or whistle at a woman, ogle at them in lascivious way or physically touch them, penalized by up to P5,000 or be jailed for up to one year.

An ordinance that aims to protect women in the city against street harassment, including those done in indoor or outdoor areas, where the public have access by right or by invitation but which is not exclusively used for private gathering.

Under Ordinance 671 proposed by Sanguniang Panglungsod Maybelyn  Rose Fernandez, harassment means making comments, gestures and actions of a sexual nature, whether non-verbal, verbal and physical, forced on a woman in a public place without her consent.

Fernandez said despite the widespread and public nature of the problem, there is little or no national legislation and street harassment at it is not talked about and not taken seriously as harm.

“The legal gap reflects and reinforces the common understanding of street harassment as innocent or even complimentary behavior and further trivializes the issue,” she said.

She added that street harassment is a problem that has been historically dismissed as a nuisance or even as a compliment and harmless, “but Dagupan City acknowledges that this form of harassment is a problem that impacts public safety and must be taken seriously.”

She said the dress of the woman or her prior sexual behavior is irrelevant to whether the harassment was welcome or unwelcome to her.

The non-verbal behavior include staring, ogling, flashing, stalking, upskirting (taking photos of under the women’s skirts), making sexual looks and sexually oriented gestures or body language.

The verbal conducts on the other hand, include catcalling, wolf-whistling, kissing noises, sexual or disrespectful comments, or requests for sexual interaction, making sexual jokes or propositions, remarks of sexual nature about dress or physical appearance, and pressure for dates.

Violators of both non-verbal and non-verbal behaviors will be penalized with up to P3,000 or 72 hours of community service.

The physical contact or behavior such as patting, stoking, hugging, kissing, pinching, brushing against a woman’s body, fondling, groping, touching genitals, breast, inner thighs, anus, and buttocks.

The penalty for physical contacts is higher, or up to P5,000 or imprisonment of up to one year.

Minor offenders or those below 15 years old, will be subjected to intervention program as called for by the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

Entry filed under: News.

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