March 24, 2023 – The Partners, Atty. Tercel Mercado-Gephart and Atty. Bernadine Nacua, conducted a talk for their alma mater, the Cebu City National Science High School, located in Barangay Labangon. This is in line with the MGN Law Firm’s advocacy of spreading awareness and knowledge of our rights and remedies under the law, especially to those who need it the most.

In celebration of Women’s Month, the talk primarily focused on the provisions under the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act (Republic Act No. 9262) and the Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act No. 11313). There are numerous remedies provided under these laws in order to protect women against various forms of violence and harassment. For instance, one of the unique remedies provided under the Anti-VAWC is that women can apply for protection orders, either through their barangays or our courts. People who are found guilty of abusing women or their children under this law may be imprisoned and be liable for damages.

In addition, the recently passed Safe Spaces Act makes it illegal for a person to make sexual remarks or such other acts against another, whether it be in public or online. While it aims to protect people of all genders, it is especially intended to protect the ones most susceptible to harassment, such as women or members of the LGBTQ+ community. The acts that are prohibited under this law are stalking, cyberstalking, catcalling, recording, and uploading photos or videos without that person’s consent.

These are only two of the many laws that are enacted to protect our women. Despite this, there are still thousands of women who become victims to harassment, violence, and abuse all around the country. There is still a lot of work to be done to adequately protect our women. In addition to strengthening our systems and passing more progressive laws, women need to be in places where decisions are being made in order for their voices to be heard. As the feminist Bell Hooks once said, Feminism is for everybody.