Press Release
October 8, 2018


"We claim victory under 'Red October,' a month filled with legislative victories for the people."

This was the statement issued today by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros as she celebrated the passage of important pieces of legislation this month, many of which, she said, were pushed mainly by the opposition.

"There are no destabilization attempts organized by the opposition in the month of October. There are only ground-breaking legislative victories for the people. This is our real Red October," Hontiveros said.

The opposition Senator, who is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, pointed to the ratification of the historic Expanded Maternity Leave Law last week and the scheduled passage on third and final reading today of the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Bill and the Positive Discipline of Children Act.

Expanded Maternity Leave Law

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which was ratified last Tueday, provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers, of which 7 days (daddy quota) are transferable to fathers, and an additional 15 days additional to solo mothers, for a total of 120 days. It was authored and principally sponsored by Hontiveros in the Senate.

Laws on safe streets and positive discipline of children

Senate Bill No. 1326 or "The Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 seeks to penalize catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, groping, persistent requests for name and contact details and the use of words tending to ridicule on the basis of actual or perceived sex, gender expression or sexual orientation in public spaces, while Senate Bill No. 1477 or "The Positive Discipline of Children Act" wants to prohibit corporal punishment of children at home, in schools and other institutions. Both laws were also authored and principally sponsored by Hontiveros.

Bicam level: HIV Policy Act and CISAC Law

Meanwhile, the Philippine HIV AIDS Policy Act of 2018 is currently being deliberated at the bicameral conference level, while the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CISAC) Act is scheduled for bicameral deliberations. The former aims to adopt a multi-sectoral approach in responding to the HIV epidemic by ensuring that local communities, civil society organizations, and persons living with HIV are at the center of the process. On the other hand, the CISAC law provides protection to all children in situations of armed conflict from abuse, violence, neglect, cruelty, discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development. Hontiveros also both authored and sponsored the said measures.

"This is a clear testament to the opposition's commitment to promote and protect the people's rights and welfare through timely, consistent and meaningful legislative work. We do this even as we continue to add our voice of dissent to hold this government to account and defend democracy," Hontiveros ended.

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