NATIONAL TRANSMISSION CORPORATION

TRANSCO GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT

 

GAD READINGS

 

+ Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710)

What is Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710)? 

The MCW is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.  

The MCW establishes the Philippine government’s pledge of commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women’s (CEDAW) Committee and to the UN Human Rights Council on its first Universal Periodic Review in 2009.  

 It is the local translation of the provisions of the CEDAW, particularly in defining gender discrimination, state obligations, substantive equality, and temporary special measures. It also recognizes human rights guaranteed by the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). 

What is discrimination against women?  

The Magna Carta of Women defines discrimination against women as:  

  • any gender-based distinction, exclusion, or restriction which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field;  
  • any act or omission, including by law, policy, administrative measure, or practice, that directly or indirectly excludes or restricts women in the recognition and promotion of their rights and their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges;  
  • a measure or practice of general application that fails to provide for mechanisms to offset or address sex or gender-based disadvantages or limitations of women, as a result of which women are denied or restricted in the recognition and protection of their rights and in their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges; or women, more than men are shown to have suffered the greater adverse effects of those measures or practices; and  
  • discrimination compounded by or intersecting with other grounds, status, or condition, such as ethnicity, age, poverty, or religion. 

What are the rights of women guaranteed under the Magna Carta of Women?  

All rights in the Philippine Constitution and those rights recognized under international instruments duly signed and ratified by the Philippines, in consonance with Philippine laws shall be rights of women under the Magna Carta of Women. These rights shall be enjoyed without discrimination since the law prohibits discrimination against women, whether done by public and private entities or individuals. 

The Magna Carta of Women also spells out every woman’s right to:

  • Protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State. This includes the incremental increase in the recruitment and training of women in government services that cater to women victims of gender-related offenses. It also ensures mandatory training on human rights and gender sensitivity to all government personnel involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence, and mandates local government units to establish a Violence Against Women Desk in every barangay to address violence against women cases;  
  • Protection and security in times of disaster, calamities and other crisis situations, especially in all phases of relief, recovery, rehabilitation and construction efforts, including protection from sexual exploitation and other sexual and gender-based violence.  
  • Participation and representation, including undertaking temporary special measures and affirmative actions to accelerate and ensure women’s equitable participation and representation in the third level civil service, development councils and planning bodies, as well as political parties and international bodies, including the private sector.  
  • Equal treatment before the law, including the State’s review and when necessary amendment or repeal of existing laws that are discriminatory to women;  
  • Equal access and elimination of discrimination against women in education, scholarships and training. This includes revising educational materials and curricula to remove gender stereotypes and images, and outlawing the expulsion, non-readmission, prohibiting enrollment and other related discrimination against women students and faculty due to pregnancy outside of marriage;  
  • Equal participation in sports. This includes measures to ensure that gender-based discrimination in competitive and non-competitive sports is removed so that women and girls can benefit from sports development;  
  • Non-discrimination in employment in the field of military, police and other similar services. This includes the same promotional privileges and opportunities as their men counterpart, including pay increases, additional benefits, and awards, based on competency and quality of performance. The dignity of women in the military, police and other similar services shall always be respected, they shall be accorded with the same capacity as men to act in and enter into contracts, including marriage, as well as be entitled to leave benefits for women such as maternity leave, as provided for in existing laws;  
  • Non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film to raise the consciousness of the general public in recognizing the dignity of women and the role and contribution of women in family, community, and the society through the strategic use of mass media;  
  • Comprehensive health services and health information and education covering all stages of a woman’s life cycle, and which addresses the major causes of women’s mortality and morbidity, including access to among others, maternal care, responsible, ethical, legal, safe and effective methods of family planning, and encouraging healthy lifestyle activities to prevent diseases;  
  • Leave benefits of two (2) months with full pay based on gross monthly compensation, for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders, provided that they have rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months;  
  • Equal rights in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. The State shall ensure the same rights of women and men to: enter into and leave marriages, freely choose a spouse, decide on the number and spacing of their children, enjoy personal rights including the choice of a profession, own, acquire, and administer their property, and acquire, change, or retain their nationality. It also states that the betrothal and marriage of a child shall have no legal effect. 

The Magna Carta of Women also guarantees the civil, political and economic rights of women in the marginalized sectors, particularly their right to: 

  • Food security and resources for food production, including equal rights in the titling of the land and issuance of stewardship contracts and patents;  
  • Localized, accessible, secure and affordable housing;  
  • Employment, livelihood, credit, capital and technology;  
  • Skills training, scholarships, especially in research and development aimed towards women friendly farm technology;  
  • Representation and participation in policy-making or decisionmaking bodies in the regional, national, and international levels;  
  • Access to information regarding policies on women, including programs, projects and funding outlays that affect them; • Social protection;  
  • Recognition and preservation of cultural identity and integrity provided that these cultural systems and practices are not discriminatory to women;  
  • Inclusion in discussions on peace and development;  
  • Services and interventions for women in especially difficult circumstances or WEDC; 
  • Protection of girl-children against all forms of discrimination in education, health and nutrition, and skills development; and  
  • Protection of women senior citizens.  

The Magna Carta of Women defines the marginalized sectors as those who belong to the basic, disadvantaged, or vulnerable groups who are mostly living in poverty and have little or no access to land and other resources, basic social and economic services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, employment and livelihood opportunities, housing security, physical infrastructure and the justice system. These include, but are not limited to women in the following sectors or groups: Small farmers and rural workers, Fisherfolk, Urban poor, Workers in the formal economy, Workers in the informal economy, Migrant workers, Indigenous Peoples, Moro, Children, Senior citizens, Persons with disabilities, and Solo parents. 

 

+ Special Leave Benefit

What is the special leave benefit under the Magna Carta of Women?

The MCW special leave benefit refers to a female employee’s leave entitlement of up to two (2) months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders. Gross monthly compensation is defined as monthly basic pay plus mandatory allowances fixed by the law/regional wage board. 

What are gynecological disorders and what surgeries fall under this category?

Gynecological disorders are disorders that would require surgical procedures such as, but not limited to, dilation and curettage and those involving female reproductive organs such as the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, breast, adnexa and pelvic floor. Gynecological surgeries shall also include myomectomy, hysterectomy, ovariectomy and mastectomy. 

Who may avail the special leave benefit? 

Women employees, regardless of age and civil status 

In the private sector, any female employee who has been with the company for the last twelve (12) months and has rendered at least six (6) months of continuous aggregate service may avail the said leave prior to undergoing surgery.
In the public sector, any female employee who has rendered at least six (6) months aggregated service in any various government agencies for the last twelve (12) months prior to undergoing surgery for gynecological disorders may avail of the said leave. 

When should the application for the special leave benefit be filed? 

The special leave benefit may be filed in advance, at least five (5) days for the government sector, or within a reasonable period of time prior to the scheduled date of gynecological surgery for the private sector. In case of emergency surgical procedure, the said leave shall be filed immediately upon the employee’s return from such leave. 

When can the MCW Special Leave benefit be availed? 

MCW Special Leave benefit may be availed following surgery caused by a gynecological disorder. However, for employees in the private sector, the employer, in its discretion, may allow said employee to receive her pay for the period covered by the approved leave before or during the surgery.  

What if the employee incurred leave of absence prior to the surgery?  

Female employees in the private sector may charge their leave of absence to the company leave and other mandated leave benefits. On the other hand, female employees in the government sector may use their earned sick leave credits or their vacation leave credits, after their sick leave credits have been exhausted.   

Can it be availed more than once? 

Yes. The special leave benefit may be availed for every instance of surgery due to gynecological disorder for a maximum total period of two (2) months or sixty (60) calendar days per year.  

What if the doctor prescribed more than 60 days of recuperation period?

In case the recuperation period will exceed 60 days, female employees in the private sector may charge their leave of absence to the company leave and other mandated leave benefits. On the other hand, female employees in the government sector may use their earned sick leave credits or their vacation leave credits, after their sick leave credits have been exhausted.  

Can a female employee who has undergone a surgery due to gynecological disorder during maternity leave avail the special leave benefit? 

The woman employee who has undergone surgery due to gynecological disorder during her maternity leave is entitled only to the difference between the maternity leave benefits and the special leave benefit under Republic Act No. 9710. 

How should the employee’s salary be computed for the period covered by her approved special leave? 

Section 18 of RA 9710 provides for the entitlement to Special Leave Benefits of women employees who have rendered continuous aggregate employment of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months shall be entitled to a special leave benefit of two (2) months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders; 

Is Special leave benefit the same as SSS sickness benefit?  

No. The MCW SpecialLeave benefit is different from SSS sickness benefit. The MCW Special Leave benefit is granted by the employer to a woman employee who has undergone surgery due to gynecological disorder while the SSS sickness benefit is administered and given by SSS in accordance with SSS Law or RA 1161 as amended by RA 8282. 

Can the MCW Special Leave benefit be earned and/or converted to cash?  

No. MCW Special Leave benefit is non-cumulative and non-convertible to cash unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in the private sector. 

What will happen to the existing or similar benefits under a company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA)?  

The existing similar benefits under a company policy, practice or CBA shall be considered as compliance, unless the company policy, practice or CBA provides otherwise. In case the company policy, practice or CBA provides lesser benefits, the company shall grant the difference.

What are the documents needed in filing for the special leave benefit?  

  • Accomplished and approved leave form being used in the agency/company 
  • Medical Certificate certified by a competent medical authority preferably specializing in gynecological disorders who is in the position to determine the recuperation period of the woman employee 

The Medical Certificate shall be accompanied by a clinical summary reflecting the gynecological disorder, histopathological report, operative technique used, duration of surgery, period of confinement, as well as period of recuperation. 

 

For further queries or concerns regarding the special leave benefits, please directly contact the following: 

For the private sector: 

Department of Labor and Employment
24/7 Hotline: 1349
E-Query, click here. 

 

For the government sector: 

Civil Service Commission – Human Resource Policies and Standards Office
Telephone: (02) 8951-4629
Telefax: (02) 8931-4144
Text CSC: 0917-839-8272
Email: hrpso@csc.gov.ph 

 

References: 

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 25, s. 2010: Guidelines on the Availment of the Special Leave Benefits for Women under R.A. 9710 (An Act Providing for the Magna Carta of Women); DOLE Department Order No. 112-11 s. 2012: Guidelines Governing the Implementation of the Special Leave Benefits for Women Employees in the Private Sector; and Department Order No. 112-A, s. 2012 : Amending the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Special Leave Benefit for Women Employees in the Private Sector. 

CSC Resolution No. 1000432: Guidelines on the Availment of the Special Leave Benefits for Women under R.A. 9710 (2010). Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

DOLE Department Order 112-11: Guidelines Governing the Implementation of the Special Leave Benefits for Women Employees in the Private Sector. (2011). Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

DOLE Department Order 112-A: Amending the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Special Leave Benefits for Women Employees in the Private Sector. (2012). Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Republic Act No. 9710: Magna Carta of Women: Implementing Rules and Regulations. (2011). Manila: Philippine Commission on Women.  

 

 

+ Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act (Republic Act No. 9262)

What is ra9262 orr the anti-violence against women and their children act 2004?

It is a law the seeks to address the prevalence of violence against women and their children (VAWC) by their intimate partners like their husband or ex-husband, live-in partner or former live-in partner,  boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, dating partner or former dating partner.

What is violence against women and their children under ra 9262?

It refers to any act or a series of acts committed by an intimate partner (husband, ex-husband, live-in partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, fiance, who the woman had sexual/dating relationship): 

  • against a woman who is his wife, former wife; 
  • against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship,  
  • against a women with whom he has a common child; 
  • against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate within or without the family abode,  

Of which results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. 

What are the acts of violence which are covered under R.A. 9262? 

R.A. 9262 covers several acts of violence, which are: 

  • Physical Violence – acts that include bodily or physical harm (battery) 
    • causing/threatening/attempting to cause physical harm to the woman or her child;
    • placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm 
  • Sexual Violence – the acts which are sexual in nature committed against a woman or her child. It includes, but is not limited to:
    • Rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a sex object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks, physically attacking the sexual parts of the victim’s body, forcing him or her to watch obscene publications and indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or make films thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room with the abuser.
    • Causing or attempting to make the woman or her child to perform sexual acts (that do not constitute Rape) by use of force, threats, intimidation directed against the woman, her child, or her immediate family.
    • Prostituting the woman or her child. 
  • Psychological Violence – Acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim which includes, but is not limited to the following: 
    • Controlling or restricting the woman’s or her child’s movement or conduct 
    • Threatening to or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody or access to her/his family; 
    • Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right;
    • Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, e.g. repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody or minor children or denial of access to the woman’s child/children 
    • Threatening or actually inflicting physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling the woman’s actions or decisions; 
    • It includes causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the victim belongs, or to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common children. 
    • Causing substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child:  
      • Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places; 
      • Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence or the woman or her child;  
      • Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will;  
      • Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child;  
      • Engaging in any form of harassment or violence 
  • Economic Abuse – Acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent upon her abuser, which includes, but is not limited to the following: 
    • Preventing the woman from engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity except in cases wherein the other spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article 73 of the Family Code;
    • Controlling the woman’s own money or property; or solely controlling the conjugal or common money/properties;
    • Destroying household property;  

What is “Battered Woman Syndrome”? 

It refers to a scientifically defined pattern of psychological and behavioral symptoms found in battered women as a result of a long history of abuse. 

RA 9262 acknowledges that women who have retaliated against their partner or who commit violence as a form of self-defense may have suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS). Any victim who suffers from BWS should be diagnosed by a Psychiatric expert or a clinical psychologist. This will also help the victim in obtaining a just decision in her case. The law does not allow the offender to have custody of minor children. Their care is entrusted to the woman even if she is found to have BWS. 

Who are the persons protected by R.A. 9262? 

The law recognizes the unequal relations between a man and a woman in an abusive relationship where the woman is usually at a disadvantage. 

The following are the persons who are protected by R.A. 9262:  

  • Wife  
  • Former Wife  
  • A woman with whom the offender has or had sexual relations with  
  • A woman with whom the offender has a common child with  
  • The legitimate or illegitimate child of the woman within or without the family abode 

Is VAWC committed by men alone? 

Women can also be liable under the law. These are the lesbian partners/girlfriends or former partners of the victim with whom she has or had a sexual or dating relationship.  

What if the male spouse/partner complains about abuses committed by his wife/partner?  

He may file a complaint or case under the Revised Penal Code. 

What can women and children do under R.A. 9262?  

Under the law, the offended party may file a criminal action, or apply for a Protection Order either as an independent action or as an incident in civil or criminal action and other remedies. 

Who may file a complaint under R.A. 9262? 

Any citizen having personal knowledge of the circumstances involving the commission of the crime may file a complaint because violence against women and their children is considered a PUBLIC crime

Where should cases for VAWC be filed? 

Cases may be filed in the Regional Trial Court designated as FAMILY COURT of the place where the crime was committed. These courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction over these cases. 

What are the penalties for committing VAWC?

Offenders proven in court to be guilty of the crime shall be penalized with: imprisonment ranging from 1 month and 1 day to 20 years payment of P100,000 to P300,000 in damages mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment.

What is the prescriptive period for a complainant to file a complaint? 

The criminal complaint may be filed within twenty (20) years from the occurrence or commission for the following acts: 

  • Causing physical harm to the woman or her child 
  • Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm 
  • Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm 
  • Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm 
  • Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or to desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman’s or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or her child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman’s or her child’s movement or conduct: 
  • Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody or access to her/his family 
  • Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support 
  • Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right 
  • Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, or controlling the victim’s own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or properties 
  • Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions 
  • The criminal complaint may be filed within ten (10) years from the occurrence or commission for the following acts: 
  • Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his immediate family 
  • Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to the following acts: 
  • Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places 
  • Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child 
  • Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will 
  • Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child 
  • Engaging in any form of harassment or violence 
  • Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children or denial of access to the woman’s child/children. 

What is a protection order? 

A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against women or her child. And granting other relief as may be needed. The relief granted under a protection order serve the purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the victim’s daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control of her life. The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies. 

What are the various kinds of protection orders?

The various kinds of protection orders are: 

  • Barangay Protection Orders (BPO) refer to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangayordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts under Section 5 (a) and (b) of R.A. 9262. BPO shall be effective for 15 days. 
  • Temporary Protection Orders (TPO) refers to the protection order issued by the court on the date of the filing of the application after ex parte determination that such order should be issued. The court may grant in a TPO any, some or all of the reliefs mentioned in R.A. 9262 and shall be effective for thirty (30) days. The court shall order the immediate personal service of the TPO on the respondent by the court sheriff who may obtain the assistance of law enforcement agents for the service. 
  • Permanent Protection Order (PPO) refers to the protection order issued by the court after notice and hearing. The court shall not deny the issuance of protection order on the basis of the lapse of time between the act of violence and the filing of the application. PPO shall be effective until revoked by the court upon application of the person in whose favor it was issued.

Where can I apply for a protection order? 

Application for a protection may be filed with the appropriate Regional Trial Court/Family Court or Municipal Court where the petitioner resides in case of Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and Permanent Protection Order (PPO), respectively. Barangay Protection Order may be applied for in the Barangay where the applicant resides or in accordance with Section 409 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Who may file a Petition for Protection Orders? 

A petition for Protection Order may be filed by the following: 

  • The offended party 
  • The parents or guardians of the offended party 
  • The ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity 
  • Officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs) 
  • Police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children’s desks 
  • Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad 
  • Lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner 
  • At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality where the violence against women and their children occurred and who has personal knowledge of the offense committed 

How can i apply for a protection order?

The application of the Protection Order must be in writing, signed and verified under oath by the applicant. A standard protection order application form, written in English with translation to the major languages, which is readily available, shall contain the following information: 

  • Names and addresses of the petitioner and the respondent 
  • Description of relationships between the petitioner and respondent 
  • Statement of the circumstances of abuse 
  • Description of the reliefs requested by the petitioner 
  • Request for counsel and reasons for such 
  • Request for waiver of application fees until hearing 
  • An attestation that there is no pending application for a protection order in another court 

What can the woman do if the barangay official failed or refused to issue the BPO within 24 hours from application?  

  • She can file an administrative complaint against the barangay official for failure to perform his/her duties. The complaint must be filed with the Sangguniang Panglunsod or Bayan. 
  • She can go to the police station to complain against the perpetrator. 
  • She can go to the Clerk of Court of the Family Court where she lives and request assistance in filing for a Protection Order. 

Where can the protection order be enforced?   

The Temporary Protection Order and the Permanent Protection Order are enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. 

Can the barangay officials mediate or conciliate? 

No. Conciliation and mediation of acts of violence against women and their children are not allowed under this law Sec. 33, R.A. 9262 amended sections 410-413 of the Local Government Code. The barangay officials, police or social workers should not attempt to mediate or influence the woman to give up her legal action or application for a BPO, TPO or PPO. 

My husband had been cheating on me for over three years now with various women. Is there a way I can apply VAW in filing a case against him? 

The acts of your husband cheating on you have caused you mental and emotional suffering. Such acts may be a ground for the filing of a VAW case for “psychological violence”. 

My boyfriend has been hurting me every time we fight and even threatens to kill me. Can I file a case against him for VAW? 

Yes. Physical violence against the woman as well as threatening to inflict physical harm on a woman for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions is deemed as an act of violence against women. 

My ex-husband has stopped giving me and our daughter support since 2009. Can I file a case against him for VAW? 

Yes, you may file a case for VAW against him as his act of withdrawing financial support. His act of refusing to give financial support to you or your daughter constitutes “Economic Abuse.” 

I have been in an abusive relationship for quite some time. Can I file a case against him considering his abuse was irregular?   

Yes, you can file a case against him. A woman who had a sexual or dating relationship with her assailant and whom the assailant has a common child may file a case against the latter for physical violence. 

I am a lesbian and I have been in an abusive relationship with another woman since 2009. Can I file a case against her, even though she is a woman? 

Acts of violence covered by VAW may be committed by any person with whom the victim has an intimate relationship with like the woman’s husband, ex-husband, live-in partner, ex-live-in partner, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, etc., Thus the offense may be committed by a man or a woman with whom the victim has or had a sexual relationship with. 

I am a husband who has been mentally, verbally and emotionally abused by my wife. Can I file a case against my wife using VAW?  

No. VAWC has been primarily meant for the protection of women and children. It cannot be used by men to charge their wives or partners. You may file a complaint or case under the Revised Penal Code.

I have 3 minor children with my husband. I wish to file a case against him. What would be the impact upon my children, esp. if he asks for custody?

As a victim of violence, you are entitled to the custody of your three children. The woman victim of violence shall be entitled to the custody and support of her child/children. Children below seven (7) years old or older with mental or physical disabilities shall automatically be given to the mother, with right to support, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. (Section 28 of the R.A. 9262).

I’ve been running in fear from my husband for 3 months because he threatened to kill me. What can I do?

If you have been threatened, you may apply for a Barangay Protection Order (BPO) from the barangay of your place of residence. The application must be in writing, signed and verified and it will be effective for fifteen days.

As a Battered Woman, is there a chance I might lose custody of my children?  

No, suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome will not automatically disqualify you from having custody of your children unless the court has some other compelling reasons not to award custody of the children to you. 

If custody of my children is not awarded to me, is there any chance that they might be given to my husband?  

No. VAWC explicitly states that in no case shall the custody of the children will be given to the perpetrator of the battered woman syndrome

What is the liability of a news reporter covering a pending court case for violation of the Anti-VAWC Act if he or she includes in the TV report the name and face of the woman, and other information without her consent?  

The reporter can be liable for contempt of court. All records pertaining to cases of VAWC are confidential. The court may also impose a penalty of one (1) year imprisonment and a fine not more than Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00). 

Where to seek help?  

Barangay VAW Desk in your Barangay Hall  

Provincial/City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Local Government Units  

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Community-Based Services Section (CBSS)  
Legarda, Manila 
Tel. Nos.: 733-0014 to 18 local 116 / 488-2861 

Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children Protection Center 
Camp Crame, Quezon City 
Tel. No.: 410-3213 / 532-6690 
Aleng Pulis Text Hot-line: 0919-777-7377 
Emergency Hotline: 911 

Women and Children Protection Desk of nearest Precinct  

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Desk (VAWCD) 
Taft Avenue, Manila 
Hotline: 117 / 911 
Women Children Protection Center 
Main Office: (02) 8532-6690 / 7410-3213 / 7723-0401 local 5260, 5360, 5361 
Visayas: 0917-7085157 / (032) 410-8483 
Mindanao: 0917-1806037 
Aleng Pulis: 0919-7777377 / 09667255961 

DOJ – Public Attorney’s Office (DOJ-PAO) 
(02) 8929-9436 local 106, 107 or 159 (Local “0” for operator) 
Mobile: 0939-3233665 
DOJ Action Center: (02) 8521-2930 / 8523-8481 loc. 403 

UP-PGH Women’s Desk 
Tel. nos.: (02) 8524-2990 / 8353-0667 / 8542-1512 / 8554-8400 local 2536 

DOH Hospitals, Women and Children Protection Unit 

Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) Women and Children Crisis Care and Protection Unit 
Vito Cruz, Manila 
Tel. no.: (02) 8514-4104 
Mobile: 0920-9677852 / 0917-8250320 

References: 

Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (Republic Act 9262), Implementing Rules and Regulations 
 RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act Primer by SALIGAN 
 A guide to Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (RA 9262) Philippine Information Agency and the NCRFW, 2004 
 END VAW: A Complete Reference Book on the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 (RA 9262). Published by the Support Service Institute of Women and the Democratic Socialist Women in the Philippines, 2006 
 Q & A Implementing Rules and Regulations RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, A Handbook for the Philippine National Police 
 Barangay Protection Order RA 9262 A Primer, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Barangay Operations Office, 2004

 

+ 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (REPUBLIC ACT No. 11210)

What is the Expanded Maternity Leave under R.A. No. 11210? 

The Expanded Maternity Leave under  R.A. No. 11210 is an act increasing the maternity leave period to one hundred and five (105) days for female workers with pay and an option to extend for an additional thirty (30) days without pay. This also grants extension of fifteen (15) days for solo mothers, and for other purposes.  

The maternity leave period is counted in calendar days, inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. This is in consonance with the rule that maternity leave should be availed of in a continuous and uninterrupted manner.

When did the law take effect and who can benefit from this law?

The law took effect on March 11, 2019. Therefore, female workers (covering those in the public and private sector, informal economy, or any SSS members with voluntary contribution, and female national athletes) who underwent live childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy on March 11,  2019 onwards shall be entitled to the maternity leave benefits under R.A. No. 11210.

What are the eligibility and documentary requirements in the availment of the Maternity Leave benefit?

For female employee working in the Public Sector 

Any pregnant female worker in the government service, regardless of employment status and length of service, in National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) or Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs). 

The following documents shall be submitted to the agency to enjoy maternity leave:  

  1. Accomplished Application for Leave (Civil Service Form No. 6);   
  2. Medical Certificate issued by a government or private physician, as proof of pregnancy and estimated date of delivery; 
  3. Accomplished Clearance Form (Civil Service Form No. 7)  
  4. Solo Parent I.D., for solo parents who want to avail of the additional maternity leave of 15 days 

Is the maternity leave applicable only to married females?

No. This does not apply to married females only. The maternity leave can be availed of regardless of the civil status of the mother or her child’s legitimacy.

Can a female employee re-apply for maternity leave if they get pregnant again?  

Yes. They can apply for maternity leave in every instance of pregnancy. 

What are the benefits for live childbirth? 

For live childbirth, it shall cover 105 days maternity leave with full pay. An additional 15 days will be provided for solo parents as defined in R.A. No. 8972 and also an option to extend for 30 days without pay. 

Is This Law also beneficial for those who experienced miscarriage or for those who delivered a stillbirth?

Yes. A female employee who experienced miscarriage or those who delivered stillbirth can still avail of maternity leave. She is entitled to 60 days maternity leave with full pay.

Can workers who are in a job order or contact of service positions avail maternity leave under R.A. No. 11210? 

Yes. Female contract of service and job order workers in government are classified as female workers in the informal economy. They can claim maternity leave benefits from the SSS if they have remitted to the SSS at least three (3) monthly contributions in the twelve (12)-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy. 

Can this maternity leave be reallocated or transferred? 

A female worker entitled to maternity leave benefits may, at her option, allocate up to seven (7) days of said benefits to the child’s father, whether or not the same is married to the female worker. In the absence of the father, the female employee may still allocate said maternity leaves to an alternate caregiver who is either a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or a current partner, regardless of gender, who shares with her the same household. 

The  RA 8187 or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 grants 7 days paternity leave to the father of the child, if he is married to the female worker.  Thus, a married new father can enjoy as much as 14 days leave (7 days Paternity leave and 7 days under RA 11210).  An unmarried new father, on the other hand, may enjoy 7 days allocated leave. 

When in case that the female employee dies or has become incapacitated, is it required to return the maternity benefits received?

No. There is no need to return the maternity leave benefits received. Under the law, the balance of the maternity leave benefits of a female employee who died or became permanently incapacitated shall accrue to the child’s father or, in his death, absence, or incapacity, to an alternate caregiver.

When should the female worker return to work after availing the maternity leave? 

The female worker shall fully enjoy and exhaust her maternity leave, 105 or 60 days, as the case may be. If she returns to work during the unexpired period of her maternity leave, she shall not be paid for actual services rendered since maternity leave under R.A. No. 11210 shall no longer be commutable or convertible to cash. 

 Can a female worker avail maternity leave before their actual period of delivery? 

Yes. A female employee can avail of maternity leave of not more than forty five (45) days prior to her delivery date for prenatal care purposes. Maternity leave benefits should be availed by the eligible female worker either before or after the actual period of delivery in a continuous and uninterrupted manner. Maternity leave can be used as combinations of prenatal and postnatal leave provided that postnatal care shall not be less than 60 days.

Can the maternity leave still be availed in the preceding pregnancy or in cases of multiple offspring?

Yes. Maternity Leave shall be granted to female workers in any instance of pregnancy or miscarriage, regardless of frequency. This shall likewise apply to overlapping miscarriages. The payment of the SSS maternity in cases of consecutive pregnancies resulting to overlapping maternity leaves and in cases of multiple childbirths shall be governed by the the following rules: 

  1. In case of the overlapping of two (2) maternity benefit claims, the female member shall be granted maternity benefits for the two contingencies in consecutive manner. However, the amount of benefit corresponding to the period where there is an overlap shall be deducted from the current maternity benefit claim; and  
  2. The female SSS member shall be paid only one maternity benefit, regardless of offspring, per childbirth/delivery.

When should the application for the maternity leave be filed? 

Application for maternity leave must be filed the soonest time possible, preferably thirty (30) days before the expected delivery date of the female employee. In emergency cases, the application for maternity leave may be filed immediately after the emergency .

What if extension of the maternity leave is needed?

Extended maternity leave with pay is allowed, chargeable against the female employee’s sick leave credits, and vacation leave credits in case her sick leave credits have been exhausted. 

Application for extended maternity leave must be filed with the agency at least forty-five (45) days before the end of the 105 days maternity leave. In case of a medical emergency, subsequent notice shall be submitted.  

Are the maternity leave benefits in the public sector taxable? 

Yes. The maternity leave benefit in the public sector is taxable, being a paid leave in government service.  

Can female government employees claim maternity leave benefits from other institutions like the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)?  

Yes, female government employees can claim maternity leave benefits from the SSS and PhilHealth if they are members who meet the contribution requirements of these institutions.  

 

Under SSS: 

The SSS grants maternity leave benefits for self-employed/voluntary members who have remitted at least three (3) monthly contributions in the twelve (12)-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy.  

 

Under PhilHealth: 

The PhilHealth grants benefits like Maternity Care Package (MCP) for members who have paid at least nine (9) months of premium contributions within the twelve (12) months prior to the first day of availment/ confinement (including confinement month). The other conditions for the grant of the PhilHealth benefits are as follows: 

  • The maximum number of days of confinement (45 days for the member or a total of 45 days shared among all qualified dependents) per year has not yet been consumed; and
  • Procedure/operation must be done in a PhilHealth-accredited hospital/facility and attended by a PhilHealth-accredited doctor or must be admitted for at least 24 hours in a PhilHealth-accredited hospital/ facility and attended by a PhilHealth-accredited doctor.

Is the salary differential to be paid by employers in the private sector taxable? 

No. The salary differential to be paid by employers in the private sector is considered as a benefit exempt from the Income and Withholding Taxes. 

Can a working mother apply for maternity leave even after she gets terminated from work? 

Yes. A mother can still apply for maternity eave if her childbirth or miscarriage occurs not more than 15 days after her service is terminated. 

Will female athletes also benefit from this law? 

Yes. Female athletes are also entitled to the maternity leave benefits. They will also continue to receive allowances and benefits that were granted to them before their pregnancy. 

What are the penalties for the violation of this law?

Employers or agencies who violate this law will be fined from P20,000.00 to P200,000.00; or will be imprisoned for at least 6 years and 1 day or not more than 12 years. Moreover, their business permits shall no longer be renewed. 

References: 

Civil Service Commission. (2019). Guidelines on Republic Act No. 11210. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Department of Labor and Employment. (2019). Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11210 (An Act of Increasing the Maternity Leave Period to One Hundred Five (105) Days for Female Workers with An Option to Extend for An Additional Thirty (30) Days Without Pay, and Granting an Additional Fifteen (15) Days for Solo Mothers, and  for Other Purposes). Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Bureau of Internal Revenue. (2019). Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 105-2019: Clarifies the Proper Tax Treatment of Maternity Leave Benefits Under Republic Act No. 11210 Otherwise Known as the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Official Gazette. (2019). Republic Act No. 11210: An Act Increasing the Maternity Leave Period to One Hundred Five (105) Days for Female Workers with an Option to Extend for an Additional Thirty (30) Days Without Pay, and Granting an Additional Fifteen (15) Days for Solo Mothers, and for Other Purposes. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (2015). PhilHealth Circular 22-2014: Social Health Insurance Coverage and Benefit for Women About to Give Birth Taken from PhilHealth. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (2014). Tamang Sagot PhilHealth Circular 22-2014 Social Health Insurance Coverage and Benefit for Women About to Give Birth. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020 

Social Security System (2019). Benepisyo sa Panganganak Brochure. Retrieved here on July 22, 2020. 

 

+ Use of Maiden Name

Are married women obliged or required to use their husbands’ surname? 

No. According to prevailing jurisprudence, “a married woman has the option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband.” Therefore, upon marriage, married women have the option to continuously use her maiden name or: 

  1. Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname; or 
  2. Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname; or 
  3. Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.” 

I have already used my husband’s surname in my identification cards and other documents. Can I use my maiden name again? 

While there is no blanket prohibition on reverting to one’s maiden name, certain special laws limit the instances in which a married woman can resume or revert to her maiden name, such as Republic Act No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996. 

The Philippine Passport Act does not prohibit married women from continuously using their maiden names in their passports. However, once a married woman has opted to adopt her husband’s surname in her passport, she may not revert to her maiden name, except in any of the following instances: 

  1. Death of husband; 
  2. Divorce; 
  3. Annulment; or 
  4. Nullity of Marriage. 

 

References: 

Philippine Commission on Women (2016). Allowing Married Women to Retain and Use their Maiden Name in lieu of their Husband’s Surname in accordance to Existing Laws and Pertinent Jurisprudence (PCW Memorandum Circular No. 2016-07) 

Remo v. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 628 Phil. 181 (2010). Retrieved here. 

 

 

+ Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act 11313)

Is Safe Spaces Act similar to Anti-Sexual Harassment Act? 

No. Republic Act 70877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act has a limited definition of sexual harassment and who can be considered the offender, generally persons with authority. With the implementation of the Republic 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act, anyone who committed catcalling, wolf-whistling, misogynistic and homophobic slurs, unwanted sexual advances, and other forms of sexual harassment in public places, workplaces, schools, as well as in online spaces can be penalize. 

Does Safe Spaces Act supersede Anti-Sexual Harassment Act?

No. If someone’s offense qualifies under both the Safe Spaces and Anti-Sexual Harassment acts, they can be charged for counts under both laws. Offenses can also intersect other laws like the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. 

What is Gender-Based Streets and Public Spaces Sexual Harassment under RA 11313? 

The crimes of gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment are committed through any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person regardless of the motive for committing such action or remarks.  

Gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment include, among others: 

a) Catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs; 

b) Persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance; 

c) Relentless requests for personal details; 

d) Statement of sexual comments and suggestions; 

e) Public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping, making offensive body gestures at someone, and other similar lewd sexual actions; 

f) Any advances, whether verbal or physical, that is unwanted and has threatened one’s sense of personal space and physical safety. This may include cursing, leering and intrusive gazing, and taunting; 

g) Persistent telling of sexual jokes, use of sexual names; and 

h) Stalking. 

Can gender-based sexuak harassment be committed in public utility vehicles (PUV)?

Yes. Gender-Based Sexual Harassment may happen anywhere. In cases of GBSH in PUVs, the LTO or the LTFRB may suspend or revoke the use of driver’s license after finding of substantial evidence that the perpetrator committed any violation of the law, subject to LTO’s own administrative procedure on suspension or revocation or of driver’s license. 

What if my perpetrator is minor? 

 In case the offense is committed by a minor, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall take necessary disciplinary measures and diversion program as provided for under R.A. No. 9344, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006”. The program shall include age-appropriate gender sensitivity training and anti-sexual harassment awareness activities. 

What are the penalties for Gender-Based Sexual Harassment in Streets and Public Spaces?

Per Section 11 of the law, the following acts shall be penalized as follows:    

a) For acts such as cursing, wolf-whistling, catcalling, leering and intrusive gazing. taunting, cursing, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs, persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance, relentless requests for one’s personal details such as name, contact and social media details or destination, the use of words, gestures or actions that ridicule on the basis of sex, gender or sexual orientation, identity and/or expression including sexist, homophobic, and transphobic statements and slurs, the persistent telling of sexual jokes, use of sexual names, comments and demands, and any statement that has made an invasion on a person’s personal space or threatens the person’s sense of personal safety. 

  1.  The first offense shall be punished by a fine of One thousand pesos (P 1,000.00) and community service of twelve (12) hours inclusive of attendance to a Gender Sensitivity Seminar to be conducted by the PNP in coordination with the LGU and the PCW. The PNP shall issue the certificate of completion of community service;  
  2. The second offense shall be punished by arresto menor (6 to 10 days) or a fine of Three thousand pesos (P3,000.00);  
  3. The third offense shall be punished by arresto menor (11 to 30 days) and a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00).   

b) For acts such as making offensive body gestures atsomeone, andexposing private parts for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator with the effect of demeaning, harassing, threatening or intimidating the offended party including flashing of private parts, public masturbation, groping, and similar lewd sexual actions.  

  1. The first offense shall be punished by a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P 10,000.00) and community service of twelve (12) hours inclusive of attendance to a Gender Sensitivity Seminar, to be conducted by the PNP in coordination with the LGU and the PCW. The PNP shall issue the certificate of completion of community service;  
  2. The second offense shall be punished by arresto menor (11 to 30 days) or a fine of Fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00);  
  3. The third offense shall be punished by arresto mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6 months) and a fine of Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).  

c) For acts such as stalking, and any of the acts mentioned in Section 11, paragraphs (a) and (b), when accompanied by touching, pinching or brushing against the body of the offended person; or any touching, pinching, or brushing against the genitalia, face, arms, anus, groin, breasts, inner thighs, face, buttocks or any part of the victim’s body even when not accompanied by acts mentioned in Section 11, paragraphs (a) and (b).  

  1. The first offense shall be punished by arresto menor (11 to 30 days) or a fine of Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00), provided that it includes attendance in a Gender Sensitivity Seminar, to be conducted by the PNP in coordination with the LGU and the PCW. The PNP shall issue the certificate of completion of community service;  
  2. The second offense shall be punished by arresto mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6 months) or a fine of Fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00); 
  3. The third offense shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period or a fine of One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00). 

My ex-boyfriend uploaded my naked photo without my consent. Can I file a case against him under Safe Spaces Act? 

Yes. Safe Spaces Act pushes for safer cyber spaces. Sharing of any of the victim’s photos, videos, or information without permission is punishable under the law.  

Other gender-based online sexual harassment include acts that use information and communications technology to frighten victims through: 

    • Physical, psychological, and emotional threats 
    • Unwanted sexual misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist remarks and comments online whether on public posts or through private messages 
    • Invasion of the victim’s privacy through cyber stalking and incessant messaging 
    • Recording or sharing any of the victim’s photos, videos, or information without permission 
    • Impersonating victims’ identities 
    • Posting lies about victims to harm their reputation, and filing false abuse reports to online platforms to silence victims 

What are the penalties for committing gender-based online sexual harassment? 

The penalty of prision correccional in its medium period or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of any gender-based online sexual harassment. 

Who can file a case? 

Any person harassed can file a complaint. However, “unwanted and uninvited” sexual harassment must be proven, going by the definition of the crime.  

I was eating alone at a restaurant and someone groped me. Where can I seek help? 

Privately-owned places open to the public, like restaurants and retail stores, adopt a zero-tolerance policy against gender-based sexual harassment in streets and public places. Victims can seek help to their personnel as they are obliged to provide assistance by coordinating with the police and making CCTV footage available. 

If the gender-based sexual harassment happened to the workplaces or educational institutions, victims may seek assistance to its independent internal mechanism or a committee on decorum and investigation (CODI) which is mandated to investigate and address these kinds of complaints. 

Reference: 

Safe Spaces Act Implementing Rules and Regulations. (2019) 

 

+ Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7877)

What is Sexual Harassment?

Under RA 7877, work, education,or training related sexual harassment is “committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancyover another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted or not by the object of said act.”

How is work-related sexual harassment committed?

Work-related Sexual Harassment is committed when:

  1. The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee
  2. The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or
  3. The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the employee.

How is education or training-related sexual harassment committed?

Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment is committed:

  1. Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;
  2. Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship, or tutorship is entrusted to the offender;
  3. When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of a passing grade, or granting of honors and scholarships, or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges, or considerations; or
  4. When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice.

“A person who directs or induces another person to commit any act of sexual harassment or who cooperates to commit the act, without which the said act would not have been committed, will also be held liable under the law.”

What is the duty of the employer of head of office in a work or education/training environment?

The employer or head of office is required by the law to prevent the occurrence of sexual harassment acts and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of sexual harassment. Towards this end, the employer or head of office shall:

  1. Promulgate appropriate rules and regulations in consultation with and jointly approved by the employees or student or trainees, through their duly designated representatives. Said rules and regulations shall prescribe the procedures for the investigation of sexual harassment cases and the administrative sanctions thereof.

“The said rules and regulations should include guidelines on proper decorum in the workplace and educational or training institutions.”

“Administrative sanctions shall not be a bar to prosecution in the proper courts for unlawful acts of sexual harassment.”

2. Create a Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) of cases on sexual harassment. The committee shall conduct meetings or as the case may be, with officers and employees, teachers, instructors, professors, coaches, trainors and students or trainees to increase understanding and prevent incidents of sexual harassment. It shall also conduct the investigation of alleged cases constituting sexual harassment.

“In the case of work-related environment, the committee shall be composed of at least one (1) representative each from the management, the union, if any, the employees from the supervisory rank, and from the rank and file employees.”

“In the case of the educational or training institution, the committee shall be composed of at least one (1) representative from the administration, the trainors, teachers, instructors, professors or coaches and students and trainees, as the case may be.”

“The employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall disseminate or post a copy of RA 7877 for the information of all concerned.”

What if the employer or head of office did not undertake any action despite his/her knowledge of the sexual harassment act/s?

The employer or head of office, educational or training institution will be held liable for the damages arising from acts of sexual harassment if they are informed by the offended party of the occurrence of such acts, yet no action has been undertaken.

Can an offended party seek redress by taking an independent action?

Yes, the offended party may take independent action for damages incurred in the act of sexual harassment. She/he may also avail of relief.

What are the penalties for offenders?

Any person who violates the provisions of the law shall be penalized by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months, or a fine of not less than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000) nor more than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000), or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

Any act on arising from the violation of the provisions of this Act shall prescribe in three (3) years.

Where do we go for help?

For government sector employees:

Civil Service Commission
Constitution Hills, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
Public Assistance Desk: (02) 8931-7913 / 8931-8187
Para sa Taumbayan Hotline: (02) 8951-2575 / 8932-0111

For private sector employees:

Department of Labor and Employment
Bureau of Working Conditions
Intramuros, Manila
Hotline: 1349 / (02) 1349 for calls outside Metro Manila

Philippine National Police
Women and Children Protection Center
Camp Crame, Quezon City
Tel. No.: 410-3213 / 532-6690
Aleng Pulis Text Hot-line: 0919-777-7377

National Bureau of Investigation
Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Desk
Taft Avenue, Manila
Tel. Nos.: 523-8231 to 38 / 525-6028

DOJ – Public Attorney’s Office (DOJ-PAO)
Tel. Nos.: 929-9010 / 929-9436 to 37 loc. 106 / 107


References:

Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 

A.M. No. 03-03-13-SC Rule on Administrative Procedure in Sexual Harassment Cases and Guidelines on Proper Work Decorum in the Judiciary. Supreme Court, December 2004 

 

+ Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9208)

What is Trafficking in Persons (TIP)?

Trafficking in persons is an illegal act and is considered a violation of human rights. It has three (3) inter-related and interdependent elements for a situation to be considered trafficking in persons: 

  • ACTS – It involves the recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation, transfer, maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders; 
  • MEANS – It is committed by use of threat, or use of force, or other forms or coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person; and 
  • PURPOSE – It is done for the purpose of exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, involuntary servitude or the removal or sale of organs. 

 The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, adoption or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation or when the adoption is induced by any form of consideration for exploitative purposes shall also be considered as “trafficking in persons” even if it does not involve any of the means mentioned above. 

What are the Acts Punishable under the Anti-TIP Law? 

 The following acts are punishable under RA 9208 as amended by RA 10364: 

1.Acts of TIP – includes all acts committed by any natural or juridical person where all the three elements of TIP (acts, means, purpose) are present. Some examples are: 

  • recruitment, hiring, offering, transferring, harboring or receiving any person for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or apprenticeship; 
  • undertaking or organizing tours and travel plans consisting of tourism packages or activities for the purpose of utilizing and offering persons for prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation; 
  • maintaining or hiring a person to engage in prostitution or pornography; 
  • adopting persons by any form of consideration for exploitative purposes; and • recruitment, hiring, adopting, transporting, obtaining, harboring, offering, receiving or abducting a person, by means of threat or use of force, fraud, deceit, violence, coercion, or intimidation for the purpose of removal or sale of organs of said person. 

 

Any person found guilty of acts of TIP shall be penalized with imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of not less than 1 million but not more than 2 million pesos. 

 

2. Acts that promote TIP – includes all acts that encourages or facilitates TIP such as: 

  • knowingly using or allowing the use of any house or establishment for promoting TIP 
  • facilitating the use of tampered or fake documents to evade government regulatory and pre-departure requirements; 
  • production, publication, broadcast and distribution, including use of ICT for propaganda materials that promote TIP; 
  • assisting in the conduct of misrepresentation or fraud in securing 
  • clearances and necessary exit documents from government, and facilitating exit/entry of persons possessing tampered or fraudulent travel documents for promoting TIP; 
  • preventing a trafficked person from seeking redress from appropriate agencies by confiscating or destroying his/her passport, travel or personal documents; 
  • tampering with or destroying of evidence, or influencing or attempting to influence witnesses in an investigation or prosecution of a TIP case; 
  • destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating or possessing travel and/or working documents of any person in order to maintain the labor or services of that person; and 
  • using one’s office to impede the investigation, prosecution or execution of lawful orders in a case. 

 

Any person found guilty of acts that promote TIP shall be penalized with imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of not less than 500 thousand but not more than 1 million pesos. 

 

3. Use of Trafficked Persons – any person who buys or engages the services of trafficked persons for prostitution shall be penalized with imprisonment ranging from six (6) years to forty (40) years and fine ranging from 50 thousand to 5 million pesos. 

In addition to imprisonment and fine, an offender who is a foreigner shall be immediately deported and permanently barred from entering the country after serving jail terms, while an offender who is a public official shall be dismissed from service and suffer perpetual absolute disqualification to hold public office. 

 

4. Qualified TIP – the act will be considered as qualified TIP when: 

  • the trafficked person is a child; 
  • there is adoption under RA 8043 (Inter-Country Adoption Act) and said adoption is for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage; 
  • the crime is committed by a syndicate or is large scale; 
  • the offender is a spouse, ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a person who exercises authority over the trafficked person; 
  • the offense is committed by a public official or employee; 
  • the trafficked person is recruited to engage in prostitution with any member of the military or law enforcement agencies; 
  • the offender is a member of the military or law enforcement agencies; 
  • he trafficked person died, became insane, suffered mutilation or got infected with HIV/AIDS; 
  • the offender commits one or more acts of TIP over a period of 60 or more days; and 
  • the offender directs or through another manages the trafficking victim the offender directs or through another manages the trafficking victim 

 

Qualified trafficking shall be penalized by life imprisonment and a fine of not less than 2 million but not more than 5 million pesos. 

 

5. Attempted TIP – where there are acts to initiate the commission of a trafficking offense but the offender failed to or did not execute all the elements of the crime, by accident or by reason of some cause other than voluntary desistance, such overt acts shall be deemed as an attempt to commit an act of TIP. In cases where the victim is a child, any of the following acts shall also be deemed as attempted TIP: 

  • facilitating the travel of a child who travels alone to a foreign country or territory without valid reason and without the required clearance or permit from the DSWD, or a written permit or justification from the child’s parent or legal guardian; 
  • executing, for a consideration, an affidavit of consent or a written consent for adoption; 
  • recruiting a woman to bear a child for the purpose of selling the child; • simulating a birth for the purpose of selling the child; and 
  • soliciting a child and acquiring the custody thereof through any means, for the purpose of selling the child. 

 Any person found guilty of committing attempted TIP shall be penalized with imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of not less than 500 thousand but not more than 1 million pesos. 

What protection is given to trafficked persons? 

  1. Legal Protection 
  2. Free Legal Assistance 
  3. Right to Privacy and Confidentiality 
  4. Witness Protection Program 
  5. Victim Compensation Program 

Who may file a complaint? 

  1. The trafficked person or the offended party 
  2. Spouse 
  3. Parents or legal guardians 
  4. Siblings 
  5. Children 
  6. Any person who has personal knowledge of the offense 

 

How is trafficking in persons different from illegal recruitment and human smuggling?

Trafficking in Persons Illegal Recruitment Human Smuggling
May or may not involve coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of vulnerability, etc. Usually does not involve coercion but uses more deception, promises and fraud Usually does not involve coercion
Characterized by subsequent exploitation after the illegal entry of one person from one place to another or one country to another Characterized by facilitating entry of one person from one country to another through an unorganized or unlicensed agency Characterized by facilitating for a fee, the illegal entry of a person into a foreign country
There is a need to prove
the presence of exploitation or that the recruitment was facilitated for the purpose of exploitation
Mere recruitment without license is punishable, no need to prove the consequential exploitation Proof of illegal entry by non-compliance with the necessary requirements
for travel
Considered a human rights issue Considered a migration concern Considered a migration concern

Where to call for help?

Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)
Email: contactus.iacat@gmail.com
Hotline: 1343 or (02) 1343 for outside Metro Manila 

 

Department of Justice
DOJ IACAT: (02) 8525-2131 / 8527-2363
DOJ Action Center: (02) 8521-2930 / 8523-8481 loc. 403 

 

Department of Social Welfare and Development
DSWD Ugnayan Pag-asa Crisis Intervention Center
Hotlines: (02) 8734-8639 / (02) 8734-8654 / (02) 8734-8626 to 27
DSWD Community-Based Services Section (CBSS)
Hotline: (02) 8733-0010 to 18 loc. 116 

 

Philippine National Police
Hotline: 117 / 911
Women and Children’s Protection Center
Main Office: (02) 8532-6690 / 7410-3213 / 8723-0401 local 5260, 5360, 5361
Visayas: 0917-7085157 / (032) 410-8483
Mindanao: 0917-1806037
Aleng Pulis: 0919-7777377 / 09667255961 

 

National Bureau of Investigation
NBI-Anti-Human Trafficking Division
Hotline: (02) 8521-9208 / 8523-7414 

 

Bureau of Immigration
Hotline: (02) 8524-3769 / 8645-2400  

 

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Hotlines.: (02) 8722-11-44 / 8722-11-55
Legal Assistance Division: (02) 8722-1189
Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch: 8721-0619 

 

For Filipinos Overseas:Philippine Embassy/Consulate which has jurisdiction over the place where the trafficking occurred or where the trafficked person is. 

Reference:  

Primer on RA 9208 

Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 as amended by RA 10364 

Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 

Commission on Filipinos Overseas 

 

+ INFOGRAPHICS

20th anniversary of the historic signage of the UN Protocol                                                                                  to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,                                                                          especially Women and Children

Facts on Republic Act 11313 (Safe Spaces Act)

International Day Against Trafficking

+ PHOTOS & VIDEOS