‘Protect our children:’ Solon wants to strengthen Anti-Child Pornography Act
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker urged Congress to tackle immediately and pass proposed measures seeking to strengthen Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 amid reports of students selling their sensual photos and videos to raise money for distance learning expenses.
Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles, who authored House Bill No. 7633 or the Anti-Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children Act of 2020 which seeks to amend Section 9 of R.A. 9775, said, “our children should not be left to fend for themselves.”
“We have to place measures to protect our children—even from themselves. We have to act so that children are not forced to prostitute themselves because of their needs,” Nograles said in a statement.
Currently, Section 9 of R.A. 9775 allows internet service providers (ISP) to install software that could block access to and transmittal of child pornography and notify authorities within seven days of detection of any internet address that may contain child pornography.
However, Nograles said the same provision also states that “nothing in this section may be construed to require an ISP to engage in the monitoring of any user, subscriber or customer or the content of any communication of any such person.”
Nograles said telecom operators have said that the section effectively hampers them from taking action, in particular, monitoring and blocking child pornography websites.
Nograles’ bill likewise proposes that foreign nationals who have committed any sex-related offenses be barred from entering the Philippines.
Further, the lawmaker also urged the Department of Education to develop more effective ways so children can cope with the demands of distance learning.
Citing the Department of Justice, which used data from the U.S.-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 279,166 cases of online child sex abuse had been tallied in the Philippines from March 1 to May 24, 2020. — Zac Sarao, trainee
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