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Some Commonly Asked Questions About

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

What is Sexual Harassment?


For the purpose of these Rules, the administrative offense of sexual harassment is an act, or a series of acts, involving any unwelcome sexual advance, request or demand for a sexual favor, or other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, committed by a government employee or official in a work-related, training or education related environment of the person complained of.

How is Sexual Harassment Committed?


(a) Work related sexual harassment is committed under the following circumstances: (1) submission to or rejection of the act or series of acts is used as a basis for any employment decision (including, but not limited to, matters related to hiring, promotion, raise in salary, job security, benefits and any other personnel action) affecting the applicant/employee; or (2) the act or series of acts have the purpose or effect of interfering with the complainants work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; or (3) the act or series of acts might reasonably be expected to cause discrimination, insecurity, discomfort, offense or humiliation to a complainant who may be a co-employee, applicant, customer, or word of the person complained of.

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(b) Education or training-related sexual harassment is committed against one who is under the actual or constructive care, custody or supervision of the offender, or against one whose education, training, apprenticeship, internship or tutorship is directly or constructively entrusted to, or is provided by, the offender, when: (1) submission to or rejection of the act or series of acts as a basis for any decision affecting the complainant, including, but not limited to, the giving of a grade, the granting of honors or a scholarship, the payment of a stipend or allowance, or the giving of any benefit, privilege or consideration.

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(2) the act or series of acts have the purpose or effect of interfering with the performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic environment of the complainant; or (3) the act or series of acts might reasonably expected to cause discrimination, insecurity, discomfort, offense or humiliation to a complainant who may be a trainee, apprentice, intern, tutee or ward of the person complained of.

Where may SH take place?


1. in the premises of the workplace or office or of the school or training institution;
(Dioscoro F. Bacsin vs. Eduardo O. Wahiman GR No. 146053)

2. in any place where the parties were found as a result of work or education or training responsibilities or relations;
(CSC vs. Peter E. Nierras GR N0. 165121)

Where may SH take place?


3. at work or education or training-related social functions;
(Atty. Susan M. Aquino vs. Hon. Ernesto D. Acosta CTA-01-1)

4. while on official business outside the office or school or training institution or during work or school or training-related travel;

5. at official conferences, fora, symposia or training sessions; or 6. by telephone, cellular phone, fax machine or electronic mail.

WHAT ARE SOME FORMS OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT?


(a) Physical i. Malicious Touching; ii. Overt sexual advances; iii. Gestures with lewd insinuation. (b) Verbal, such as but not limited to, requests or demands for sexual favors, and lurid remarks;
(Jocelyn S. Paiste vs. Aproniano V. Mamenta, Jr. GR No. 123048, August 8, 2000)

WHAT ARE SOME FORMS OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT?


(c) Use of objects, pictures or graphics, letters or writing notes with sexual underpinnings;
(Ma. Lourdes T. Domingo vs. Rogelio Rayala GR No. 155831)

(d) Other forms analogous to the forgoing.

WHO ARE THE PERSONS LIABLE FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT?


Any government official or employee, regardless of sex, is liable for sexual harassment when he/she: (a) directly participates in the execution of any act of sexual harassment as defined by these Rules; (b) induces or directs another or others to commit sexual harassment as defined by these Rules; (c) cooperates in the commission of sexual harassment by another through an act without which the sexual harassment would not have been accomplished;
(d)

cooperates in the commission of sexual harassment by another through previous or simultaneous acts.

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE EMPLOYER OR HEAD OF OFFICE?


Duty of the Employer or Head of Office in a Work-related, Education or Training Environment. - It shall be the duty of the employer or the head of the work-related, educational or training environment or institution, to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment. Towards this end, the employer or head of office shall:
(a)

Promulgate appropriate rules and regulations in consultation with and joint1y approved by the employees or students or trainees, through their duly designated representatives, prescribing the procedure for the investigation of sexual harassment cases and the administrative sanctions therefor.

Administrative sanctions shall not be a bar to prosecution in the proper courts for unlawful acts of sexual harassment. The said rules and regulations issued pursuant to this subsection (a) shall include, among others, guidelines on proper decorum in the workplace and educational or training institutions.

(b)

Create a committee on decorum and investigation of cases on sexual harassment. The committee shall conduct meetings, 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 a 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, instructors, professors or coaches and students or trainees, as the case may be. The employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall disseminate or post a copy of this Act for the information of all concerned.

WHAT IS THE LIABILITY OF THE EMPLOYER OR HEAD OF OFFICE?


Liability of the Employer, Head of Office, Educational or Training Institution. - The employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall be solidarily liable for damages arising from the acts of sexual harassment committed in the employment, education or training environment if the employer or head of office, educational or training institution is informed of such acts by the offended party and no immediate action is taken.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES IN CASE OF VIOLATION?


Penalties. - Any person who violates the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, 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 action arising from the violation of the provisions of this Act shall prescribe in three (3) years. Sexual harassment in the workplace is not about a man taking advantage of a woman by reason of sexual desire; it is about power being exercised by a superior officer over his women Filing of charge for sexual harassment is not a trivial matter. It entails having to go public with an incident that one is trying to forget. It means opening oneself to public ridicule and scrutiny. We, therefore, can not believe the version of the defense that the charges were all fabricated.

ATTY. HILARIO C. ORTIZ, Ph.D.


Regional SEMINAR-WORKSHOP on VIOLENCE against WOMEN & February 16-17, 2012 CHILDREN

SUC President III

NEUST FARMERS TRAINING CENTER Sumacab Campus, Sumacab Este, Cabanatuan City