The Philippines Congress passed a law on 29 November that aims to strengthen anti-discrimination provisions under the Labour Code to safeguard women employees. The law strengthens existing provisions with jail terms and hefty fines for violators, stating that it is unlawful for any employer to favour a male employee over a female employee in terms of employment benefits. The law also prevents the discharge of women on account of pregnancy. Ultimately, the measure establishes greater responsibility and accountability for private employment agencies.
A ruling on 21 September dismissed a Department of Justice petition filed by the government in 2018 seeking to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing to be "terrorist" groups. While considered a win by government critics and activists, analysts note that the government can still seek to declare groups as terrorists under the controversial Anti-Terror Act, adopted in 2020. The Regional Trial Court also raised concerns about the adverse impacts of "red tagging" on the right to freedom of expression - a common practice that senior officials have employed to label critics, activists and journalists as terrorists or insurgents, thereby exposing them to arrests or violent attacks.
Drug-related killings continue to occur regularly under President Bongbong Marcos, says Human Rights Watch in a policy brief to UN member states. According to the monitoring of Dahas, a program affiliated with the University of the Philippines, 72 drug-related killings have been reported since Marcos took office on 30 June. Marcos has pledged to continue the Duterte administration's "war on drugs" campaign, albeit with a less punitive approach. Yet, the reported killings reflect a different reality on the ground regarding security forces. Marcos also stated in September that he will not support the International Criminal Court’s probe into former president Duterte's drug war.