No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

Isabela City enforces "Bawal Bastos Ordinance" vs gender-based harassment

ISABELA CITY, Basilan (PIA) --  The local government of Isabela City de Basilan recently rolled-out the information campaign on “Bawal Bastos Ordinance” to ensure that Isabelenos are protected from several forms of harassment.

One of the driving forces behind the implementation of this ordinance is Councilor Karel Annjaiza Sakkalahul who recognized the urgent need to address the degrading and discriminatory treatment that individuals face based on their gender.

The local government of Isabela City took a significant step towards promoting safe spaces and eliminating gender-based harassment with the orientation of Ordinance No. 22-687, or the “Bawal Bastos Ordinance” of Isabela City. More than 80 principals and heads from public and private schools and training institutions in Isabela City gathered at the ISAWAD Function Hall on September 28 for the said event.

City Information Officer and GAD Focal Mendry-Ann Lim expressed gratitude for the presence of the participants and emphasized the crucial role they play in promoting safe spaces for all. The session then began with a quick familiarity check on basic Gender and Development (GAD) concepts, followed by an in-depth discussion on core messages of gender sensitivity, including social influencers, delivered by Jeanette Rojas of the GAD Unit.

A problem tree analysis workshop was conducted, wherein the participants identified gender-related issues, their causes, consequences, and proposed activities for solutions. This interactive session allowed for a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced and the steps needed to address them effectively.

In her message, Councilor Karel Annjaiza Sakkalahul, Chairperson of the SP Committee on Women, Children and Family Affairs and Committee on Gender and Development, highlighted the importance of good governance in development. She also discussed the salient provisions of the Bawal Bastos Ordinance and addressed queries regarding its features and implementation.

In addition, Hon. Sakkalahul said that “based on my personal experience and the cases I have witnessed, as well as the stories of my friends who have been harassed in public areas, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community and a woman and as an Isabeleño, legislator, and public servant, I will not allow our fellow citizens to be disrespected. This ordinance was not simply enacted without careful consideration; we thoroughly studied it." 

City Legal Officer, Atty. Adzlan Imram, provided an in-depth discussion on gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in educational and training institutions. He shed light on the duties and liabilities of school heads as enshrined in relevant laws such as RA 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, RA 11313 or Safe Spaces Act, and Supreme Court decisions. Pcpl Fatimah Salisa of the Isabela City Police Station Women and Children Protection Desk presented a situationer on GBSH cases in Isabela City, providing valuable insights into the local context.

Highlights of the program included the launch and turnover of the Anti-Sexual Harassment (ASH) hotline to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) and the distribution of Bawal Bastos posters.  All attendees participated in a commitment pledge led by Atty. Imran, symbolizing their dedication to establishing safe spaces.  

Eduardo Gulang, Chief Education Supervisor of DepEd Isabela City, and several school administrators and principals conveyed messages expressing their support and dedication.

The orientation was initiated by the City Information Office in partnership with the Gender and Development Unit. It concluded with a powerful statement chanted by everyone: "HapIsabela! Bawal Ang Bastos sa Lungsod ng Isabela!"

 It is worth noting that last year, in 2022, Isabela City became the first local government unit in Mindanao and the third in the Philippines to have a local law on safe spaces, marked by the ceremonial signing of Bawal Bastos Ordinance No. 22-687, s. 2022.

The City Government of Isabela remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring a safe and dignified environment for all Isabelenos. Together, they strive to build a community where respect, equality, and inclusivity prevail.(RVC/EDT/NDR/RFN-PIABasilan)

About the Author

Nilda Delos Reyes

Information Officer II

Region 9

Currently the Information Center Manager of Basilan Infocenter

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch