Senator Win Gatchalian hailed the Senate’s third reading approval of a bill that would strengthen the government’s crackdown on the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).
Gatchalian is co-author of Senate Bill No. 2209 or the “Special Protections against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law,” which defines and penalizes OSAEC. He also thanked Senator Risa Hontiveros, the Chairperson of the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, for sponsoring the proposed anti-OSAEC law.
Earlier this year, Gatchalian flagged reports that students were doing an “online Christmas sex sale,” where bundles of lewd images and videos were sold to raise funds for distance learning-related expenses.
The Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime reported that in 2020, it has received 1,297,000 million cyber tipline reports of suspected OSAEC cases, almost thrice the 426,000 reports in 2019.
Gatchalian pointed out that the anti-OSAEC bill which the Senate passed is aligned to his proposed measure Senate Bill No. 1794, which strengthens Republic Act No 9208 (Anti-Trafficking Persons Act of 2003), as amended by Republic Act No. 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012). Both measures identify responsibilities of internet service providers (ISPs) such as reporting instances of child sexual abuse and exploitation, blocking child sexual abuse and exploitation materials, and preserving evidence for purpose of investigation. Both bills also identify standards and guidelines in surveillance, interception, and recording of communications of suspects.
While Senate Bill No. 2209 mandates tourism enterprises to report OSAEC cases within their premises, Gatchalian’s proposed measure identifies other responsibilities for tourism-oriented establishments—hotels, inns, resorts, and motels among others—such as the training of employees to recognize signs of human trafficking and preventing the possible conduct of child trafficking, child pornography, and sexual exploitation in their premises.
“Bago pa tumama ang pandemya sa ating bansa ay talamak na ang paggamit sa internet upang abusuhin ang ating kabataan, ngunit nakita nating mas tumindi ang panganib na kinakaharap ng ating mga kabataan dahil sa mga lockdown. Napapanahon na upang wakasan natin ang karumal-dumal na mga krimeng ito at itaguyod ang mas ligtas na internet para sa ating mga kabataan,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.