/ 25 January 2022

THE HOUSE Committee on Appropriations on Monday approved a measure that seeks to prohibit all forms of sexual abuse or exploitation of children.

The committee chaired by ACTS-CIS Partylist Representative Eric Go Yap approved the bill substituting House 6923 by Deputy Speaker Michael Romero; House Bill 7465 by Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla; House Bill 7633 by Rizal Rep. Juan Fidel Felipe Nograles; House Bill 7718 by Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred Delos Santos; House Bill 7825 by Joy Myra Tambunting; House Bill 7947 by Luis Raymund Villafuerte; and House Bill 8760 by Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap.

In her sponsorship remarks, Deloso-Montalla, chairperson of the Committee on Revision of Laws, said that the bill will deter the commission of online abuse or exploitation of Filipino children which has became rampant in recent years.

After the United Nations Children Education Fund labeled the Philippines as the global epicenter of the livestream sexual abuse trade, she said Congress has to pass the measure.

The bill punishes the commission of child sexual abuse or exploitation online or offline. It will also impose stiffer penalties for the commission of the crimes under the bill and treat online sexual abuse and exploitation of children as a transnational crime that will allow the extradition of predators and perpetrators committing the crime outside the Philippine jurisdiction.

Deloso-Montalla said the bill, once enacted into law, will have minimal or no additional cost to the government as it will transfer all the powers, functions and assets of the Inter-Agency Council Against Anti-Child Pornography or IACACP under Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 into a newly created Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation.