Philippines - The Revised Penal Code as amended by Act No. 10158 (March 27, 2012) - Equality Now

Philippines - The Revised Penal Code as amended by Act No. 10158 (March 27, 2012)

  • Country: Philippines
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Prostitution

Article 202 of the Philippines’ Revised Penal Code defines prostitution as a crime only women can commit.

Article 202. Prostitutes; Penalty. –

For the purposes of this article, women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes.  Any person found guilty of any of the offenses covered by this article shall be punished by arresto menor [minor arrest] or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, and in case of recidivism, by arresto mayor [major arrest] in its medium period to prision correccional [correctional prison] in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 2,000 pesos, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Link to the Law


No one should be criminalized for being sexually exploited or having to sell their body for sex. Article II, Section 14 of the Constitution of the Philippines: The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.

Sex discrimination in personal status laws negatively impacts the ability of women to conduct various aspects of their daily lives. 

Sex discrimination in laws relating to sexual exploitation mean that women along may be subjected to punishment if they are deemed to be a “prostitute”.

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