Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday met with 1,000 motorcycle riders from transport service provider Angkas to promote a culture of safe spaces among its partner-riders and bring greater safety and gender-sensitivity awareness to the public.

In her speech, Hontiveros went over the salient points of Republic Act No.11313 or the Safe Spaces Law, also known as the Bawal Bastos Law, with the Angkas riders. She explained that the law prohibits street and gender-based harassment in public spaces, such as catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs, sexual comments and suggestions and any advances, whether verbal or physical, that are unwanted and threaten one’s sense of personal space and physical safety.

“Ang Bawal Bastos Law ay hindi lamang para sa kababaihan, para sa mga kalalakihan din. Bukod sa kinikilala natin na may karapatan din kayo at nababastos din, tinuturuan tayo ng batas ng tamang pakikitungo sa kapwa natin tao, lalo na sa kababaihan,” Hontiveros said.

” 2019 na po. Ang tunay na lalake, maginoo at marunong rumespeto. Kung dati, uso ang ‘maginoo pero medyo bastos,’ ngayon dapat, maginoo at hindi bastos,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros said that she was happy with the opportunity to reach out to the Angkas riders to bring the message of both safety and gender equality and to reinforce the message that the Safe Spaces Act is for everybody.

“Maraming pumupuri sa professionalism at good service ng mga Angkas riders. Dahil dito, gusto namin kayong maging ‘ambassadors of safe spaces.’ Gusto din namin panatilihin ang inyong professionalism at good service sa inyong mga customers sa pamamagitan ng mga gender sensitivity trainings. Tiyak ko, kapag kilalang maginoo ang mga angkas driver at kampante sa inyo ang mga pasahero, mas lalakas ang kita sa pamamasada,” Hontiveros said.

The Senator said that public transport is a universal experience, and as such, safety is one of the ultimate forms of public good. “I welcome Angkas for taking this message on board and hope that they can serve as the gold standard for other transport providers to follow,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, is the principal author and sponsor of the Bawal Bastos Law. She is currently the chairperson of the Senate Committe on Women, Children, Family relations and Gender equality.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/hontiverosrisa