There’s still a good chunk of people who, unfortunately and surprisingly, don’t see the distinction between a compliment and harassment. It’s sadly no secret that many Filipinas fear for their safety in public spaces, many revealing experiencing street harassment from an early age. In time for the 2018 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) from November 25 to December 12, the Philippine Commission on Women released radio plugs that turn the spotlight on a kind of VAW that often happen in public places but usually dismissed as just a “compliment” – catcalling.
Dubbed as “The Macho Choir”, the radio campaign created by the talents of DDB Group Philippines, used three songs from our childhood that replaces the lyrics with messages against catcalling to emphasize that catcalling is a kind of sexual harassment and it is no laughing matter. Featured in this radio campaign are the songs “Sit(sirit)sit”, “P.T.B.U” and “T(s)ong t(s)ong” All three radio plugs were aired in AM and FM radio stations throughout the country.
At the start of the campaign, only Quezon City and Manila have existing ordinances to address the issue. The call for expanding Republic Act 7877 to cover other kinds of sexual harassment is one of the PCW’s Women’s Priority Legislative Agenda (WPLA) for the 17th Congress. Since the campaign, the proposal has been passed at the Senate, and yesterday was approved at the House of Representatives.
In cognizance of the crucial role of the media in ending gender-based violence, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) issued circular number 018-059 enjoining all its member radio stations to air the radio plugs from November 25 to December 12. The “Macho Choir” was heard all day from multiple radio stations including Tiger 22, ABS-CBN, and GMA7.
The Philippine Broadcasting Service-Bureau of Broadcast Services (PBS-BBS) likewise aired the radio plugs in its radio stations nationwide.
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