September 28, 2023

Dear Manang,
Can we call it sexual harassment when men verbally abuse a woman without the sexual act? I receive remarks like “Pwede ka ba mamaya?” or “Gusto mo ba akong tikman?” in my office building sometimes. Although, this is just said, I feel offended because I don’t deserve this kind of treatment. I am told by my officemates that I am attractive and sexy, but I am not aware of this. I am busy with night classes for my master’s degree in community development and have more ambitions than getting married or having relationships at this time. Can I file a case against these men?
Claudia of Pucsusan, Baguio City

Dear Claudia,
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the Philippines, Republic Act 7877 mandates that the employer or the head of the work-related, educational or training environment or institution must provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment. The employer must create a committee on decorum and investigation of cases on sexual harassment. These are your legal basis for sexual harassment and even if the success in a macho society is slim, who knows if you will survive it. I recommend that you find a women’s support group to help you in your battle.
Go for it,

Dear Manang,
I am always feeling sadness. Recently, I just felt that I was useless and not able to do worthwhile things. I didn’t get a job I just applied for and the other companies I sent my application to have not answered. My mother nags me too about not being able to help tide the household expenses now that I am a graduate. I don’t want to go out anymore, not even out of my room. Does this feeling go away?
Vina of Pacdal, Baguio City

Dear Vina,
You are going through depression. That overwhelming sadness is not healthy anymore. You are experiencing what is referred to as dissociative behavior and you need immediate help. There is a hotline that you can call just to talk to someone, try 0908-639-2672. That is a free call to the and open 24/7. There is no problem so small that they will not assist or listen to. Or try the with hotline +63288937603. It is better to go online and dial their hotlines. Please try to talk to them, I am sure you will feel better.
Please call,