‘Enforce law vs online sex abuse’
BY MOISES CRUZ
The Manila Times
TINGOG party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez on Friday called for the swift implementation of the new law against online sexual abuse of children. The bill, authored by Romualdez, is now known as Republic Act (RA) 11930, or the “Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children Act (OSEAC).” Romualdez said the government should begin drafting the law’s implementing rules and regulations for quick adoption and implementation. She noted that the sooner the responsible state authorities start implementing the law, the fewer children will be at danger of abuse and exploitation. “We have to ensure our children’s safety and protection both online and offline, in their schools and their homes, and to make the internet an enabling and empowering space for growth and learning. The true strength of our nation is seen in the smiles of children. The well-being, integrity and safety of our children are the most precious gifts we can give them,” Romualdez said. Romualdez continued by saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated online child abuse since the health emergency has led to unemployment, loss of money and livelihood, and immense pain among individuals. “As a mother and as a legislator, my commitment is to ensure online safety for all our children,” Romualdez emphasized. Producing, willfully accessing, and knowingly disseminating any type of sexual abuse and exploitative media are all punishable under RA 11930. It emphasizes the obligations of social media platforms and electronic service providers for the management, uploading and distribution of such materials. The National Coordinating Center Against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children will be established under the law. It ensures that victims will be protected and that their needs, particularly their psychosocial needs, will be supported. Implementing agencies are required to create and encourage collaboration with their international counterparts for the sharing of information, adoption of best practices and carrying out joint investigations.