DSWD, DOJ sign IRR for anti-online sexual abuse of children law
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian signed on Thursday the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of a law combatting online sexual abuse of children.
Authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and the Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act would protect children from abuse and exploitation in information and communications technology (ICT).
“The DSWD, as one of the signatories of the IRR, will remain vigilant in making sure that the provisions will be strictly implemented and never abused. Likewise, the Department will continue to craft relevant plans, policies, and programs to address the evolving need for better protection, recovery, and reintegration of victim-survivors,” Gatchalian said.
According to the DSWD chief, the signing was “a meaningful journey towards enhancing the protection of children against online abuse.”
The IRR lists down the different duties and responsibilities of the private sector, from the internet intermediaries and internet service providers, down to internet hotspots, cafes, or kiosks, said the DSWD.
“The IRR also lists key instrumentalities in fighting OSAEC, including financial investigation of perpetrators, blacklisting of aliens, and age verification protocols. As provided in [Republic Act] 11930, an OSAEC and CSAEM Offenders Registry for Filipino nationals and foreigners will also be created,” said the DSWD.
The law also gives the Philippines jurisdiction over OSAEC even when committed outside of the Philippines, and it clarifies how the government can pursue international cooperation for cases abroad.
Remulla said that the country is a target for online sexual abuse of children due to poverty, widespread internet access and fluency in English.
“It is the responsibility of all, from the government to everyday citizens, to protect the innocence and well-being of our future: the Filipino children,” Remulla said.
Hontiveros called the law a true landmark in our legal framework.”
“We can proudly proclaim that we have crafted a holistic legislation that assigns responsibility to every sector – from law enforcement to the private sector. This modern law and its corresponding IRR directly tackle the complexities of our modern world,” Hontiveros said.