PCW cautions PUV operators/drivers on GBSH in public spaces, thanks the LTFRB-X and other agencies with swift action on incidents

The Philippine Commission on Women reminds operators and drivers of public utility vehicles that gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in public spaces, including public transportation, is penalized under Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act. This is in light of a viral video circulating online showing a taxi driver pulling his passenger’s hand to his private part.  

The PCW warns perpetrators that GBSH is a form of Violence Against Women (VAW) and is prohibited under relevant laws. Drivers and passengers alike must treat each other with respect to ensure the quality and safety of public transport for all parties. Under Section 6 of SSA, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) may cancel the license of perpetrators found to have committed acts constituting GBSH  in public utility vehicles, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) may suspend or revoke the franchise of transportation operators who commit gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment acts.

In line with this, the PCW also commends the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Region X, led by Regional Director Aminoden Guro, for taking swift action on the alleged sexual harassment incident. LTFRB-10 RD Guro summoned the taxi driver to his office and warned him of the possible sanctions. He also advised the passenger’s family to file a final complaint against the driver to turn the wheel of investigation. If proven guilty after thorough investigations, the aforementioned sanctions can be imposed on the driver and the operator.

The PCW thanks LTFRB-X and other agencies for acting accordingly and with urgency on GBSH incidents. We also call on all implementing agencies with mandates under the law to be true to their commitments and provide adequate, gender-sensitive, and immediate responses and services to GBSH victims.

Timely so, we also commemorate this month the third anniversary of the passage of the Safe Spaces Act. Hence, the PCW is taking this opportunity to laud all our partners in the public and private sectors who are proactive in ensuring that public spaces, education and training institutions, workplaces, and even online spaces are safe from gender-based sexual harassment. The video shows that we should double our efforts in putting life to the letters of the law so that all genders will be safe from GBSH anywhere they may be and at all times.