Two bans, one ban overturn, and one bid for leadership: all-in-all it’s a busy day in the field of politics. With the emergence of new regulations backing women’s safety and sustainable practices, things are looking brighter than usual and we’re grateful. In this SYAG, we run down administrative and legislative moves at the national and international levels.
Duterte-Carpio contemplates joining 2019 election run
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has hinted that she might join 2019’s senatorial race. The presidential daughter told reporters at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office that she is “open to running for a national or any other government position” in next year’s midterm elections. She leads political party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) which supports incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte’s programs. Furthermore, she declared that HNP will back Bureau of Corrections Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go should the three presidential allies choose to run.
Senator Hontiveros files Plastic Straw and Stirrer Ban
It seems the Senate has caught wind of the recent trends in sustainable living, and it’s about time. In a bid to reduce the nationwide production of waste pollution, Senator Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 1866 or “The Plastic Straw and Stirrer Ban of 2018” last July 5. If passed, the bill will prohibit restaurants and other service providers from offering single-use plastic straws and stirrers to customers. Violation can result in fines as much as P150,000.
The bill comes two years after Senator Loren Legarda’s filing of the Plastic Bags Regulation Act (Senate Bill No. 430). This act aims to regulate the production and use of non-reusable plastic bags and to promote the usage of reusable bags. Alongside Senate Bill No. 1866, it is also pending in the Senate.
Manila City bans catcalling
We took another huge legislative step forward when Manila city passed Ordinance No. 7857, “An Ordinance Penalizing Catcalling and Other Forms of Public Sexual Harassment,” a law geared toward making Manila’s streets safe once more for women.
Written by Manila District 4 Councilor Krystle Bacani, the ordinance penalizes sexual harassment in public areas. Such harassment, according to the ordinance, includes catcalling, wolf-whistling, stalking, and groping, among other forms. Fines for offenders range from P200 to P5,000, on top of a one day to one year sentence. Violators will likewise be subjected to mandatory attendance at a Gender Sensitivity seminar to be conducted by the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Commission on Women.
Manila is the second city to adopt an ordinance against sexual harassment after Quezon City, whose local government passed the Anti-Catcalling Ordinance in 2016.
Trump overturns Obama trophy import ban
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has moved to ease previously approved import restrictions, allowing hunters to import “trophies,” valued parts of carcasses from endangered species, once more. The decision, made through a memorandum, overrules the ban legalized in the era of former POTUS Obama.
Previously, the federal agency considered trophy imports on a nation-by-nation basis. Now, instead of evaluating elephant tusks and lion hides by nation, the agency will consider imports of these animals from certain African countries on case-by-case basis. The commodities are exports of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
This overturn comes as a surprising contrast to previous comments by President Donald Trump, who publicly endorsed the ban. Trump was reported to have said early on: “I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country].” In a tweet published November 2017, he also expressed opposition to the overturn, saying “I… will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.” We guess he changed his mind after all.