TO DETER the exploitation of child abuse and further promote the best interest of the child, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 137 imposing stiffer penalties for child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.
The House Bill also amended Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.”
With 228 in the affirmative and zero in the negative, the House voted for the passage of HB 137. The said bill will also be transmitted to the Senate.
Under HB 137, any person who shall hire, employ, use, persuade, induce, or coerce a child to perform in obscene publications and indecent shows shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period, instead of prision mayor in its medium period, and reclusion temporal in its maximum period if the said person is an ascendant, guardian, or person entrusted in any capacity with the care of the child. If the child is below twelve (12) years of age, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua in its maximum period.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that the House of Representatives through this measure affirmed its commitment to protect children from all types of abuse. Consistent with his advocacy to promote children’s rights and uphold their welfare, Taguig has also been consistently hailed as one of the child-friendly cities in recognition of the city’s programs which aim to protect children as well as raising them to be productive and values-oriented individuals. The City of Taguig has recently received its fourth seal of Child-Friendly Local governance this year.
HB 137 likewise raises the penalty for child labor practices from imprisonment of six months to a minimum of one year to six years or a fine not less than P100,000 to P300,000.
Section 12 of RA 10364 or the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012,” which provides for the penalties and sanctions for trafficked persons, will now be imposed on the employment of trafficked children. (SunStar Baguio)