A week before the observance of National Women’s Month, the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod passed on third and final reading an ordinance localizing Republic Act No. 11313 and providing additional definitions of gender based sexual harassment, protective measures, and penalties on Wednesday, February 22, Councilor Celia Flor said.
The ordinance was initially sponsored by Flor, chairperson on Committee on Women, Gender, Family and Child Care, together with all women councilors as a symbolic gesture for women empowerment and gender equality.
On the second reading, the rest of the council members manifested their support and called to pass the ordinance unanimously, strengthening the call for a safer Bacolod against all kinds of sexual harassment, she said.
“We are making sure that all Bacolodnons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression are protected. Whether you are a man or a woman, you are protected under this ordinance”, Flor said.
Bacolod City’s Bawal Bastos Ordinance has provisions not found in the National Law such as the Duties and Responsibilities of Bacolod City, Barangays, Functions of Traffic Enforcers, and the revocation of franchise for Public Utility Vehicles in case the perpetrator is a driver, she said.
The local ordinance also provides penalties for gender based sexual harassment committed in educational and training institutions and the workplace which were not provided for in the national law, Flor added.
She also said the ordinance specifies the duties of the Bacolod Public Information Office, definition of community service and responsibility of the Bacolod GAD Focal Point System, and provisions for assistance to victims such as psychological counselling.*