Press Release
November 22, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe rang the alarm bells as she urged the Senate to conduct an investigation on the proliferation of pornography involving children in the country amid measures already in place to punish perpetrators and criminalize unlawful acts.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 237, Poe said child pornography and prostitution still persist despite the enactment of various laws that carry penalties against unlawful acts such as Republic Act (RA) No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act of 1992, RA No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and RA No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Poe sought the inquiry as the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) tagged the Philippines as the number one global source of child pornography and the "epicentre of the livestream sexual abuse trade," with mostly poor families forcing their children to perform live sex online for pedophiles around the world in exchange for huge amounts of money.

"Ang ulat na nangunguna ang Pilipinas sa child pornography ay talagang nakakabahala. Higit dapat bigyan ng proteksyon ng pamahalaan ang mga batang napupuwersang magtrabaho sa ganitong kalakaran," said Poe.

Poe said the appropriate Senate committee should push for the investigation toward crafting remedial measures, amending existing laws and capacitating implementing agencies to make them more responsive in deterring and penalizing child pornography and prostitution.

Citing reports, Poe said child pornography in the country is considered a billion-dollar business. Of the 7,000 cybercrime-related incidents reported in the Philippines, half of which were related to child sex abuse.

From 2010 to 2014, the average number of child porn cases in the country was 50, but increased to 100 cases from January to February alone this year.

"Kailangang magkaroon ng komprehensibong programa upang matigil na itong ganitong klaseng gawain," said Poe, a child welfare advocate who also filed legislation that upholds children's rights.

The senator has filed SB No. 160 or the Libreng Pananghalian sa Pampublikong Paaralan that aims to provide free school feeding program for all public schools and SB No. 161 or the First 1,000 Days Act seeking to establish a natal care program for expectant mothers and health care and feeding program for toddlers.

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