LAWMAKER LAUDS SIGNING OF LAW RAISING AGE OF SEXUAL CONSENT
SENATOR Leila de Lima welcomed the signing into law of a measure that raises the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16.
De Lima, co-author of the bill in the Senate, said the signing of Republic Act 116481 on March 4 ensures the protection of the youth’s innocence.
“With the passage of the law increasing the age of consent to 16 years old, the State is sending an unequivocal message that the youth will be protected by all means and at all costs,” she said.
“Now, the State could better safeguard the innocence of the youth, prevent sexual predators from violating them, and further ensure that their best interests are protected and promoted,” she added.
Under the law, any adult who engages in sexual activity with a minor aged below 16 is automatically guilty of rape.
The law exempts individuals having carnal knowledge with minors under 16 years from criminal liability as long as the age difference between the parties is not more than three years.
The sexual act must also be non-abusive and non-exploitative.
De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 745 in June 2021 urging Congress to investigate the reported surge of online sexual exploitation of children during the pandemic to hold perpetrators accountable.