Anti-OSAEC bill one step closer to Senate’s final nod
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to beef up the country’s policies against the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children is now a step closer to the Senate’s final approval.
This after the Senate on Thursday approved on second reading Senate Bill No. 2209 or the proposed Special Protections against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law.
Under the measure, law enforcers are given “additional tools” to pursue perpetrators of OSAEC, “especially those who are hiding under the veil of anonymity provided by online platforms.”
It also imposes additional duties on internet intermediaries, including social media platforms, such as the blocking and removal of child sexual abuse or exploitation material within 24 hours from receipt of notice, preservation of evidence in their possession, and development and adoption of systems and procedures for preventing, blocking, detecting and reporting of OSAEC cases.
Convicted perpetrators of OSAEC or similar or equivalent crimes in other jurisdictions as well as foreign nationals being monitored by Philippine law enforcement authorities for conducting OSAEC activities will be banned from entering the Philippines if the bill is enacted into law.
Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros, sponsor of the measure as chair of the Senate women and children committee, noted that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries where child sexual abuse and exploitation materials are produced.
“The youngest recorded Filipino victim of OSAEC was a two-month-old baby,” she said.
Citing data from the Department of Justice, the senator further pointed out that OSAEC cases in the Philippines rose by 264.6 percent during the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine from March to May 2020.
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