Senate unanimously approves on final reading bill vs. online sex abuse of children

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Senate unanimously approves on final reading bill vs. online sex abuse of children
This file photo shows a child using the camera of a cellular phone
Pixabay / File

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 23-0-0, the Senate on Thursday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to strengthen protections against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. 

Senate Bill No. 2209 or the proposed Special Protections against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (Anti-OSAEC) Law was sponsored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros who chairs the committee on women. 

Along with Hontiveros, Sens. Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Leila de Lima, Ronald dela Rosa, Franklin Drilon, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Imee Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla Jr., Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, and Miguel Zubiri are listed as co-authors of the bill. 

The proposed measure will now be submitted to the House of Representatives. 

If the bill is enacted, internet service providers would be required to "notify the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) within forty-eight (48) hours from receipt of information that any form of child sexual abuse or exploitation is being committed using its server or facility."

Meanwhile, social media companies would be obliged to "develop and adopt a set of systems and procedures for preventing, blocking, detecting, and reporting of OSAEC committed within their platforms." 

It also bans the entry of convicted OSAEC offenders into the country and requires authorities to create and maintain a registry of online sex offenders. 

In a statement coursed through her office, Hontiveros said she was "overjoyed" to see the bill passed by her colleagues. 

"This is a success for our youth. It is a success for every mother, father, and parent who seeks to keep their children safe against the dangers posed by technology," she said in Filipino. 

"Our children are the heart of this bill. They are the ones who inspire and hope in our society. I hope to expedite its passage in the House to further protect the dignity, dreams, and future of our youth." 

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