Senate Committees approve proposal to increase statutory rape age to 16
Aileen Cerrudo • October 1, 2020 • 442
The Senate Committees have approved the proposal to increase the statutory rape age to 16.
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality approved the proposed measure on Thursday (October 10). Aside from the increase in the statutory rape age, the age for sexual consent was also raised from 12 to 16.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, one of the authors of the bill, said it is time to amend the law especially due to the increase of sexual violence cases among children.
“As legislators, we need to ensure that our children are protected and that we set measures that will mitigate if not totally eradicate these alarming cases and statistics on sexual violence against children and teenage pregnancies,” Zubiri said.
The Philippines currently has the age of sexual consent at 12 which is the lowest in Asia and among the lowest in the world. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – A Senate panel will conduct an inquiry on Wednesday on the quality of distance learning, other psycho-social concerns, and the implications of postponing the resumption of face-to face classes amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, said that during the hearing, he will urge the Department of Education (DepEd) to use all available tools and resources to avert a looming ‘learning crisis’ as part of its next steps in mitigating the “pernicious effects” of distance learning.
Gatchalian earlier expressed fears that a huge chunk of more than 25 million learners in the basic education sector might end up “unprepared” for their next level of schooling.
While DepEd has exhausted all possible steps to provide for continued education amid the pandemic, Gatchalian stressed that several challenges still hound the rollout of distance learning, including the inadequacy of connectivity, lack of enough guidance from teachers, and the quality and effectiveness of self-learning modules, among others.
“Dahil ipagpapaliban muna nating muli ang pagkakaroon ng face-to-face classes, mahalagang magkaroon tayo ng kaliwanagan sa kung ano ba ang magiging pangmatagalang epekto nito sa ating mga mag-aaral, lalo na’t hinaharap nila ang maraming mga hamong may kinalaman sa epektibong pagpapatupad ng distance learning,” Gatchalian said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
“Ang ating layunin sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya ay masigurong natututo ang ating mga mag-aaral at maging handa sila para sa susunod na antas ng kanilang pag-aaral,” he added.
Duterte earlier thumbed down fresh proposals to resume face-to-face classes in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque relayed the president’s decision not to allow any in-person classes until the vaccination program has been rolled out in the country.
Roque, however, said that face-to-face classes may be considered in August this year after the launch of the immunization drive.
A pilot test of limited face-to-face classes was supposed to be held by the government last January but was ordered suspended by Duterte due to increasing COVID-19 cases.
MANILA, Philippines—The Senate has approved the Labor Education Act on the third and final reading.
Senate Bill No. 1513 or the Labor Education Act seeks to mandate all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) to integrate labor education as part of an elective course.
Under the bill, HEIs and tech-voc training institutes shall hold a Labor Empowerment and Career Guidance conference which graduating students shall attend.
Senator Joel Villanueva, the principal sponsor of the Senate Bill, said around 700,000 students graduate from HEIs every year.
However, these students have little knowledge of their labor rights and access to legal aid or assistance. This makes them vulnerable to labor exploitation, according to the Senator.
“At present, the regions that have the highest number of students enrolled in higher education institutions are also the regions where establishments record dismal compliance to labor laws. Unfortunately, there is no clear core subject in the higher, technical, and vocational education sectors where labor education is comprehensively covered,” he said.
Villanueva also noted the enactment of the bill would ensure that every Filipino worker would be aware of his/her rights which include labor issues such as unemployment and underemployment, problems concerning fair wages, job security, safe workplaces, social protection, and unfair labor practices. -AAC
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