With the cases of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) rising at an alarming rate amid the COVID-19 crisis, Deputy Speaker and 1PACMAN Party-list Representative Michael Romero urged to pass the bill that imposes strict penalties to protect minors from online sex predators and syndicates.

House Bill No. 6923 collectively described OSEC as acts of a sexually exploitative and abusive nature against a child that has a connection to the online environment through the use of social media applications.

The bill aims to create an Inter-Agency Council on Online Sexual Exploitation Against Children (IA-OSEC) consisting of various concerned agencies.

It treats all records regarding OSEC cases as strictly confidential, prohibiting any publication of information without the consent of the victim or an immediate family member.

The bill also grants the barangays or courts the jurisdiction to issue protection orders, avoiding violations that may further harm the welfare of children involved and ruin the victim’s life.

Earlier, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported a 264% increase in OSEC incidents since the Philippines went under the enhanced community quarantine in March.

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