Increasing age for statutory rape seen to help curb prostitution – lawmakers

Maris Federez   •   August 30, 2019   •   1300

Close to five proposed bills had been filed in the Senate that seek to amend the age covered under statutory rape in the Philippines.

Under the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, statutory rape occurs when a child age 12 or below engages in sexual intercourse, be it with consent or coerced.

Under the existing law, children under 12 do not have the capacity to give consent.

This prompted Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri to file a bill seeking to increase the age from 12 to 15 years old.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s version, on the other hand, wants to elevate it to 18 years old.

Gatchalian said the age of majority in the Philippines is 18, when an individual can enter into a contract and begin to enjoy the right to vote.

“Consequently, the age of majority should also be considered as the proper age in terms of giving sexual consent,” he added.

Gatchalian believes that increasing the statutory rape age to 18 will address the prostitution problem among young people.

In other countries such as the United States, the legal age of consent is between 16 and 18.

And like Canada and Australia, the Philippines set the age of consent to 16.

Meanwhile, the Center for Women’s Resources said more than 52,000 rape and attempted rape cases had been recorded from 2005 to 2014.

A very significant number of this (75%) have children as victims.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, on the other hand, showed that between 2012 and 2014, rape cases in the country were on the uphill.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, meanwhile, said of the more than 2,000 cases of child abuse recorded, 539 were done sexually.

The lawmakers believe that it is high time to amend the law to further protect the youth, especially young children, from abuse. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

DSWD ready to aid areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is ready to provide aid to the local government units in need of assistance due to Taal Volcano’s renewed unrest.

In a statement, the DSWD said its field office in Region IV-A has more than P2.6 million worth of family food packs (FFPs) and over P8.5 million worth of available relief supplies for repacking. It also has more than P8.3 million standby funds that can be used to procure additional emergency relief supplies.

“The FO has also placed its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under heightened alert to monitor volcanic activities and to provide technical assistance to municipalities that will require assistance,” according to the DSWD.

Meanwhile, the department urged residents in areas near the Taal Volcano to be vigilant and to strictly follow the orders of local authorities for their own safety. AAC

DSWD warns public against fake text messages on relief funds for senior citizens

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is warning the public against fake text messages about alleged social welfare relief funds for senior citizens.

The DSWD reiterated that the social welfare relief funds or assistance for senior citizens stated in the circulating text messages does not exist in the department.

The department also appealed to the public to avoid engaging in such activities  as well as sharing their personal details.

For official information on DSWD activities, interested parties may visit the department’s official websites and social media pages. AAC

Tarlac shooting: Victims’ and shooter’s family members receive stress debriefing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 31, 2020

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reported that the family members of the victims in the Tarlac shooting, as well as the wife and daughter of the cop involved, have received stress debriefing.

Social workers from DSWD Field Office III conducted an initial critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to the wife and child of Police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca to help them cope with the trauma brought by the unfortunate incident. 

The family members of the victims, Sonia Gregorio and son Frank Anthony, on the other hand, received psychosocial debriefing. 

Other members of the community who witnessed the unfortunate incident will also undergo similar intervention.

CISD is a process that allows survivors of natural and human-induced calamities as well as traumatic incidents to process and help them cope with their traumatic experiences.

The DSWD also said it will continue to monitor the families of the victims and the perpetrator to determine additional appropriate interventions. AAC

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