CHR hoping for enactment into law of bill vs children’s online abuse, exploitation

Published May 24, 2022, 3:30 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has asked Congress to enact swiftly the bill that seeks to protect children against online sexual abuse and exploitation due to the increasing number of these cases in the country.

The call was aired after both houses of Congress ratified last May 23 the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill (SB) 2209 and House Bill (HB) 10703 or the proposed Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Anti Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act, respectively.

CHR Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that with the revisions made to the disagreeing provisions of SB 2209 and HB 10703, the Anti-OSAEC bill is finally one step closer to becoming a law pending the Chief Executive’s signature.

If enacted into law, the Anti-OSAEC bill will strengthen the protection of children against OSAEC-related crimes because internet intermediaries and other internet or payment service providers will be required to take down or remove websites that stream illegal content of abuse of minors, De Guia said.

At the same time, she pointed out that there will be stiffer penalties for those involved in cases of child abuse and the formation of the National Coordinating Center against OSAEC and CSAEM under the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) will enhance the government’s response to OSAEC cases.

“The enactment of this bill emphasizes the overall obligations of the State to protect of young people from all forms of abuse,” De Guia said.

“As the country’s Gender Ombud, the Commission fully supports this proposed measure and we welcome specific provisions of the bill which provides child-victims access to psycho-social help and grant greater tools to law enforcers in consideration of the complexities of the internet and the dark web,” she added.