House OKs bill vs online or offline child sexual abuse
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on final reading Monday the measure seeking to prohibit all forms of sexual abuse or exploitation of children, including abuses happening online.
With 203 affirmative votes, zero negative, and no abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 10703 or the “Anti-Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children.”
Zambales 2nd District Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, chairperson of the House committee on revision of laws and the principal author of the measure, said that current laws “cannot cover the full range of on- and offline child sexual abuse or exploitation activities.”
Deloso-Montalla said the measure seeks to sternly punish all forms of child sexual abuse or exploitation committed either offline or online or a combination of both and impose stiffer penalties for the different kinds of acts and participation in the crime.
“Internet intermediaries and other internet or payment service providers [are] also mandated to report, block, take down or remove websites containing online child sexual abuse or exploitation materials, as the case may be,” Deloso-Montalla said in her sponsorship speech.
Under the measure, an inter-agency body is also created which will supersede the inter-agency anti-child pornography council.
“We also developed a system of reporting, referral pathway, database and protocols in detecting, averting and prosecuting online or offline child sexual abuse or exploitation activities,” Deloso-Montalla said.
“We also aligned the provisions of this bill with international standards in stopping offline or online generation or production of child sexual abuse or exploitation materials,” the lawmaker added.
According to Deloso-Montalla, there were 1.2 million tips about alleged activities involving the online sexual exploitation of children for the year 2020 alone.
“But these are only reported. Definitely, there are unreported cases not to mention those offline commissions of sexual abuse or exploitation of children that have or have no online component,” she added.
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