President Duterte is set to issue an Executive Order (EO) that will strengthen cooperation among relevant government agencies, including the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), in the fight against online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC), Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday, Feb. 8.
But Guevarra said the EO may take two months. “We’ll draft the EO and request other relevant agencies to comment,” he said
Also, he said, the President has approved the provision of “more personnel and funding to the IACAT.”
Guevarra said the creation of an EO and the additional funding and personnel to IACAT were some of the proposals of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
He said the President has already ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to penalize internet service providers that fail to fulfill their duties under Republic Act No. 9775, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.
At the same he said the President has certified as priority the passage of “bills amending the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, so that human trafficking, particularly sexual exploitation of children, will be exempt from the provisions of the Anti-Wire Tapping Law.”
Though the Philippines continues to maintain since 2016 a Tier 1 status in the United States Trafficking in Persons Report, the DOJ reported last year that there has been a 264 percent increase of OSEC during the first three months of the corona virus 2019 (COVID-19) quarantine period in the country.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) also reported the volume of suspicious transaction reports reached 27,217 from January to June 2020 or more than 2.5 times the 10,627 reported number for the entire 2019.