By Justine Irish D. Tabile, March 27, 2023; Business World
PUBLIC transport drivers, conductors, operators, and other employees could face fines and other penalties if proven to have committed gender-based sexual harassment in their service vehicles in line with the Philippines’ safe spaces law.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued a directive setting monetary fines ranging from P5,000 to P15,000 as well as the suspension period for the vehicle or even revocation of license on the third offense.
“We are directing our PUV (public utility vehicles) operators, drivers, conductors and their employees, through this memorandum circular, to make sure that that safe space is protected at all times against sexual harassment of any form,” LTFRB Chairman Teofilo E. Guadiz III said in a press release.
“It will be their responsibility to prevent and report the commission of these acts against their passengers and more importantly, make sure that they are not the ones who will commit these acts themselves because the consequences will be harsh,” he said.
LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular No. 2023-016 aims to ensure that no acts of gender-based or sexual harassment acts are committed inside PUVs.
It covers all PUV operators who were granted certificates of public convenience (CPC), provisional authority, or special permits by the LTFRB.
Truck-for-hire services are not included, according to the LTFRB.
The memorandum circular recognizes specific acts of gender-based sexual harassment defined under Section 11, Article 1 of the Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.
These acts include cursing, catcalling, unwanted comments, sexist slurs, gestures or actions that ridicule based on sex, gender or sexual orientation, harmful statements, sexual jokes, statements that invade a person’s personal space, offensive gestures, exposing private parts, groping, among others.
Under the circular, PUV operators are also mandated to post signage showing LTFRB’s contact information where harassment incidents can be reported — 24/7 Hotline: 1342 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.