Initiatives to stop cyberporn studied
THE PROVINCIAL Women’s Commission (PWC) together with local executives, the International Justice Mission (IJM) and the police, are pooling their resources and sharing initiatives to end online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) in Cebu.
They all agreed that the cooperation of the community is key towards protecting children from cyber pornography and sexual exploitation.
“It takes a village to raise a child. First in schools, the teachers are in charge. In homes it should be the parents, while outside of their homes and schools, the LGU will be responsible for the child,” San Fernando town Mayor Lakambini Reluya said
Among the initiatives of the municipality to require residents to register their internet connection with their respective barangays, strengthening the purok system and giving rewards to people who report persons engaged in OSEC.
Roland Lastimosa, who represented Talisay City said a task force for the protection of children was created through an ordinance, “ to look after our children and likewise apprehend those scrupulous perpetrators.”
Cordova Mayor Therese Sitoy Cho said they have an existing ordinance that monitors suspicious transactions through money remittance outlets. But neighboring LGUs do not have a similar ordinance so that those who sell lewd photos of children go to other areas to receive payments.
Cho said a nude photo sells for at least P10 thousand.
She stressed the need for a national law that would prevent OSEC perpetrators from receiving money from their “sponsors” through money transfer outlets.
“We really need a national law to be more aggressive,” she said.
Mandaue City Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna said that he would like the province to adopt the city’s ordinance which establishes a protocol governing the conduct of law enforcement agencies and money remittance centers in the investigation of online sexual exploitation of persons and cyber-pornography cases.
IJM Director, lawyer John Tangho said online sexual abuse of children is live-streamed online to pedophiles and online predators around the world in exchange for money usually that comes through money transferring agencies.
According to IJM’s data from 2011 to 2018, there were 99 victims rescued in Cebu, 54 of them were 12 years old and below, 32 were minors above 12 and 13 were adults. Ninety three percent were female while seven percent were male.
Tangho said one survivor that the IJM rescued was a seventeen year old girl who was now in college working on her social work degree and she’s beaming with confidence and empowerment.
Cebu City topped the cities with the highest number of cases filed in court against human traffickers in Cebu province, followed by Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City.
Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane said 181 cases were already filed from 2003 until 2017.
The development caused both positive and negative reactions.
“Makaingon ta nga nalipay ta kay maka-attribute ta sa mga (We can say that this is a good development because we helped in the) rescue operations. But , on the other side, it shows that indeed there is such a big number of trafficking cases or incidents,” Gubalane, who also sits as chief of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Central Visayas (IACAT-7), said.
Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who heads the PWC said the success of the campaign against OSEC has benefited many victims.
One of the earliest victims who underwent rehabilitation and counseling is now working on an International Cruise Ship and plans to build a home for his family. /CNU Intern, Bea Samantha Esteves
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