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Loren: Include Text, Email in Sexual Harassment Law

February 11, 2010

MANILA, PHILIPPINES–SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA HAS CALLED FOR A BROADER SCOPE OF THE CURRENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAW TO INCLUDE MORE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION IN ITS MANDATE. IN A MEETING WITH WOMEN AND YOUTH GROUPS IN ILOILO THIS WEEK, SHE STRESSED THE NEED TO BE MORE CAREFUL AND VIGILANT OF DAILY INTERACTIONS THAT COULD CONSTITUTE SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
The Sexual Harassment Law (RA-7877), enacted in 1995, provides a comprehensive policy and legal framework that PENALIZES perpetrators of said crime. Since its enactment, there has been unprecedented expansion in electronic and telecommunications such as cellular phones, text messaging, internet and electronic mail.
“Over half of the population are mobile phone users and at the same time have access to the internet. Although such modern forms of communication are used today as medium of work-related and personal communication, these new forms of communication can also be used to convey messages that are vulgar, sexists and derogatory; and are also used for sexual advances or to sexually harass other people. We have to penalize these acts before we eventually breed culture of complacence to vulgarity,” Legarda warned.
Legarda seeks to expand the coverage of sexual harassment to include text messages, electronic mail, online content and similar means that constitute sexual harassment.
“Our children grow up in this generation of users and subscribers to such forms of communication. They can fall prey to these harassment acts, hence our calls to enact the expansion of the current Sexual Harassment to protect our youth from such indecency,” Legarda urged.