Fighting Child Pornography

Undersecretary Alicia R. Bala of DSWD

As an advocacy worker for the i-café industry in our country, I was again invited to attend a consultation workshop on anti-child pornography last week. The workshop was held to discuss the status and gather more inputs regarding the implementation of Republic Act No. 9775 (RA 9775) otherwise known as the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009. The government agencies tasked to implement the law as well as the non-government organizations (NGOs) helping in its implementation gathered for a whole day to give feedback and make recommendations for a more effective fight against child pornography.

In the consultation workshop, the following milestones in the enactment and implementation of RA 9775 was reported to the body:

  • November 17, 2009 – The Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 was signed by then President Gloria M. Arroyo.
  • January 22, 2010 – As required, the new law was published in Malaya and Tempo newspapers.
  • February 6, 2010 – The law took effect on this day.
  • January 29 to February 9, 2010 – The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law was drafted.
  • June 22, 2011 – The IRR was signed by the concerned government agencies.
  • July 13, 2010 – The IRR of RA 9775 became effective.

You would notice that it has been more than a year since RA 9775 took effect and except for a recent news about the filing of charges of qualified trafficking and child abuse against the  couple who were arrested in a raid at their home in Cordova town in Cebu province, not much has been heard about its implementation. Even the dreaded web filtering by our Internet service providers (ISPs) as provided for in Section 9 of RA 9775 has not been implemented. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the government agency tasked by the law to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provision, has not yet come out with any order on how to do the filtering.

The above-mentioned issues and many more were discussed in the consultation workshop and if there’s one recommendation that really stands out during the discussion, it’s the need for a thorough information drive on how our people could report the crime to the authorities. The recently-launched Project Angel Net of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) is aimed on having a central complaint and action center in the country’s fight against child pornography.

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