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Senate OK’s bill on child sexual abuse

The Senate on Thursday approved on second reading a bill seeking to strengthen the country’s law against sexual abuse of children online. 

The Senate approved Senate Bill 2209, which will repeal the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 and amend the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009. 

The committees on women, science and technology and finance approved the measure on Tuesday. 

Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel, who endorsed the bill to the plenary, said the bill penalizes the use of digital or analog communications to sexually abuse and exploit children. 

Cases of online child sexual abuse almost quadrupled in the Philippines at the height of a coronavirus pandemic from March to May 2020, according to data from the Department of Justice. 

The Philippines was also among the top 10 countries that produced child porn in 2016, Ms. Baraquel said in her sponsorship speech, citing a report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). — Vann Marlo M. Villegas 

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