/ 31 May 2024

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting children from any online sexual abuse.

DSWD Undersecretary for International Affairs, Attached and Supervised Agencies Emmeline Aglipay Villar made the statement during the United Nations on Drugs and Crime Joint Policy Dialogue on Industry Regulation and Enforcement in Managing Cybercrime held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She presented the agency’s initiatives in combatting the prevalence of Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials.

“Ensuring compliance to the safety-by-design policy by the digital platform developers plays a vital role in the protection of the rights of the vulnerable sectors, especially children vis-a-vis the implementation of social protection programs and services,” Villar said.

The official also shared the country’s notable legislative measures through Republic Act 11930 or the Anti-OSAEC and Anti-CSAEM Act, which mandates several government and private agencies – from law enforcement to social welfare agencies – of their responsibilities in protecting the welfare of Filipino children against perpetrators of OSAEC and CSAEM.

The law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations also established the National Coordinating Center against OSAEC and CSAEM under the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, co-chaired by the DSWD with the Department of Justice.

“The same law mandated the DSWD, together with the Local Social Welfare and Development Office and Social Welfare and Development Agencies, to ensure that the immediate needs of the child victim-survivor are addressed after the rescue,” Villar said.

Villar stressed that DSWD offers services and programs to protect the victim-survivors, help them in their recovery, and guide them in their reintegration into their respective communities.

“The DSWD also provides psychosocial intervention and counseling upon rescue to victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation, before they are provided center-based or community-based programs,” she added.

Center-based programs include social and home life skills, psychosocial and spiritual counseling, education, economic productivity, recreation, and health interventions.