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REPUBLIC ACT NO.

7877

AN ACT DECLARING SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNLAWFUL IN THE


EMPLOYMENT, EDUACATION OR TRAINING ENVIRONMENT,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Also known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995

Whats the difference between Good morning, sir and Sir, morning na?
Well, the latter may mean lots of things, one of which is sexual harassment. 1
Atty. Fred Pamaos

What is Sexual Harassment?

It is any unwanted sexual attention that is explicitly or implicitly made a


condition for favorable decisions affecting ones employment or school standing,
or that which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment in the
school or the workplace.2

What is R.A. No. 7877?

R.A. No. 7877, also known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, is the
governing law that laid down punishable acts of work, education or training-
related sexual harassment with corresponding penalties.

What is the Purpose of R.A. No. 7877?

Recognizing the constitutional provision to value the dignity of every individual


and to guarantee full respect and human rights, R.A. No. 7877 was enacted to
uphold the dignity of workers, employees, applicants for employment, students
or those undergoing training, instruction or education.

Who Commits Sexual Harassment?

It can be committed by persons of either sex.

In Work, Education or Training-Related Sexual Harassment:

Employee
Manager
Supervisor
Agent of the Employer
Teacher
Instructor
Professor
Coach
Trainor
Or any other person
who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a
work or training or education environment, demands, requests, or
otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of
whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted
by the object of said act.

Any person

who directs or induces to commit any act of sexual harassment or


cooperates in the commission thereof.

How is Sexual Harassment Committed and to Whom?

A. In a work-related or employment environment, when:

1. The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the


employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual,
or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions,
promotions, or privileges; or
2. The refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or
classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or
diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said
employee;

The above acts would:

impair the employees rights or privileges under existing labor laws;


or
result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the
employee.

B. In an education or training environment, when:

1. Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;
2. Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship or tutorship is
entrusted to the offender;
3. When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of a passing
grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships, or the payment of a
stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges, or consideration; or
4. When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive
environment for the student, trainee or apprentice.

What are the Duties of the Employer or Head of Office in a Work-


Related, Education or Training Environment?

Generally:

1. To prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment; and


2. To provide procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts
of sexual harassment.

Specifically:
1. Promulgate appropriate rules and regulations in consultation jointly
approved by the employees or students or trainees, through their duly
designated representatives;
2. Prescribe the procedure for the investigation or sexual harassment cases
and the administrative sanctions therefor;
3. Promulgate guidelines on proper decorum in the workplace and
educational or training institutions; and
4. Create a committee on decorum and investigation of cases on sexual
harassment.

What is the Liability of the Employer or Head of Office in a Work-


Related, Education or Training Institution?

If the employer or head of office, educational or training institution was informed


of acts of sexual harassment by the offended party and no immediate was taken
thereon, the employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall
be:

Solidarily liable for damage arising from the acts of sexual harassment
committed in the employment, education or training environment.

What are the Penalties for Violators of R.A. No. 7877?

Imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months
Or
Fine not less than Ten Thousand Pesos (PhP10,000.00) nor more than Twenty
Thousand Pesos (PhP20,000.00)
Or
BOTH at the discretion of the court

May a Victim of Work, Education and Training-Related Sexual


Harassment File for Independent Action for Damages?

Yes, including other affirmative relief.

Is there a Prescription in Fling Action for Violation of R.A. No. 7877?

Yes. Any action arising from the violation of the Act shall prescribe in three (3)
years.

Cases Related to Sexual Harassment

Narvasa vs. Sanchez3, a senior bookkeeper filed a case for sexual harassment
against the municipal assessor. In the said case, the respondent handed notes to
the victim Gay, I like you, as well as text messages saying Ka date ko si Mary
Gay ang tamis ng halik mo, Pauwi ka na ba sexy?, I slept and dreamt nice
things about you, Have a date with me, among others. He would also whisper
to the victim Oy flawless, pumanaw ka met ditan while twice pinching her
upper left arm near the shoulder in a slow manner. Furthermore, during a field
trip, the respondent tried to kiss the victim. In such case, the Supreme Court held
the respondent guilty of sexual harassment.

Domingo vs. Rayala4, a case involving a stenographer as the victim and the
NLRC Chairman as the perpetrator, the Supreme Court enunciated that sexual
harassment is an imposition of misplaced superiority which is enough to
dampen an employees spirit and her capacity for advancement. It affects her
sense of judgment; it changes her life. Thus, in holding and squeezing the
victims shoulders, running his fingers across her neck and tickling her ear,
having inappropriate conversations with her, giving her money allegedly for
school expenses with a promise of future privileges, and making statements with
unmistakable sexual overtones all resound with deafening clarity the unspoken
request for a sexual favor.

However, in sexual harassment cases, the acts complained of must be in


consonance with human experience. In Digitel vs. Soriano5, the Director for
Market and Communications sued her superiors, which were the Senior Vice-
President and Senior Executive Vice- President. The woman filed a complaint for
sexual harassment 11 months after she tendered her resignation. The woman
claimed that during a company party, while they were seated in the sofa, one of
the perpetrators crept his hand under a throw pillow and poked her vagina
several times. She justified her failure to flee by claiming that she was hemmed
in by the arm of the sofa. Furthermore, she claimed that thereafter, when she
was dancing with one of the perpetrators, the latter groped her breasts and
buttocks.

In this case, the Supreme Court did not give credence to the allegations of the
woman and dismissed the charges of sexual harassment. The Supreme Court
ratiocinated that if indeed the perpetrators performed the condemnable act, why
didnt the woman slap the perpetrators and left the event. The Supreme Court
further held that any woman in her right mind, whose vagina had earlier been
poked several times without her consent and against her will, would, after
liberating herself from the clutches of the person who offended her, raise hell.

_____________
Reference:

Philippine Commission on Women. Republic Act 7877. Retrieved from


http://pcw.gov.ph/law/republic-act-7877

Other Sources:
1
Pamaos, F. Sexual Harassment (RA 7877). Retrieved from
http://attyatwork.com/sexual-harassment-ra-7877/
2
Philippine Commission on Women. Sexual Harassment. Retrieved from
http://www.pcw.gov.ph/sites/default/files/documents/resources/sexual
%20harassment1.pdf
3
G.R. No. 169449. March 26, 2010.
4
G.R. No. 155831. February 18, 2008.
5
G.R. No. 166039. June 26, 2006.
_____________

Submitted by:

Flores, Jiezel C.
Lubiano, Aileen S.