Tulfo mulls restricting youngsters’ social media access to curb teen pregnancies
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Raffy Tulfo has proposed a novel solution to address teenage pregnancy, calling for cooperation between key government agencies and social media applications.
On Tuesday, Tulfo urged the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to work with popular platforms such as Tiktok, Facebook, Bigo, Alua, and OnlyFans to ensure that their users are of legal age. His proposal is part of a larger strategy to protect young people and curb teenage pregnancies in the country.
“Maraming nabubuntis dito because they exploit kasi ‘pag papasok ka dito sa Bigo, Alua, OnlyFans, then magdi-display ka ng talent mo,” he said during the Senate committee on women, family relations and gender equality hearing.
(So many girls become pregnant here because they exploit it; when you sign up for Bigo, Alua, OnlyFans, you display your talents.)
“Then, ‘yung mga lalaki, mga matatanda kadalasan na mga hangol kung sa Bisaya, takaw na takaw ay mag-utos, ‘sige nga, maghubad ka nga. Sige nga magpakita ka ng ganito mo.’ Then later on, yayayain ‘yung bata na makipagkita sa kanila, nabubuntis ‘yung bata,” he explained.
(Then boys or older men, or those referred to in Bisaya as thirsty, tell the girls to get naked or show their body parts. Then, later on, invites the girl to meet up, so then she gets pregnant.)
READ: PopCom raises alarm over children as young as 10 getting pregnant
In a groundbreaking move, Tulfo proposed having users submit a valid ID as proof they are of legal age to enjoy the services.
“Through DepEd siguro, and then PNP, NBI, makipag-tie up para kausapin o makipag-communicate dito sa mga nabanggit ko na mga online page or website na para ‘yung mga kabataan na pumapasok dito hingan ng ID to make na sure they’re adults, they’re of age,” he said.
(Through DepEd, PNP, and NBI, they should tie up with these online pages or websites and communicate with them so that the youth who sign up for an account can be verified through an ID to see if they’re of age.)
Senator Robin Padilla also voiced his dismay over the amount of pornographic material available due to the prevalence of social media.
“Alam n’yo po ang mga bata nakapanood na ng mga porn diyan [social media]. Nakakalungkot po. Sila gusto natin malaman nila ang tama. Ang problema, minsan meron pa tayong bloggers, hindi din natin ma-control, nagkukuwento pa ng kanilang mga sexual exploits sa Facebook,” the actor-turned-senator said.
(You know, children can watch porn on social media. It is sad. We want them to know what is right. The problem is, sometimes there are bloggers, who we cannot control, sharing their sexual exploits on Facebook.)
“Sana po mabigyan natin ng tamang description dito una sa Senado at sa lower house kung ano ba ang kalayaan na ‘yan sa social media. Hanggang ‘di natin nakokontrol ang kalayaan na ‘yan sa social media, sayang lahat na gusto nating ilaan na panahon, pera, pondo ang hinihingi,” he added.
(I hope we can provide the right description, here in the Senate and the lower house, of what social media freedom is. As long as we cannot control their freedom in social media, everything that we want to allot such as time, money, and funds, will go to waste.)
Padilla noted that the Philippines is the “most social nation” in which an average person uses social media for six hours.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.