Children’s rights groups propose to raise age of sexual consent

By: USJ-R Journalism Intern July 30,2018 - 03:19 PM

CDN PHOTO / Delta Dyrecka Letigio, USJ-R Journalism Intern

Children’s rights organizations are pushing that the minimum age of sexual consent be raised from 12 years old to 16 years old.

This would mean that anyone who commits sexual acts with a minor below the proposed age can be charged with statutory rape.

The raising of the minimum age is contained in a proposed bill.

Atty. Cecille Latuno, one of the proponents, said that based on international standards, the age for sexual consent is 16.

Latuno said that current legal provisions on statutory rape exposes the children to more danger and exploitation.

Atty. Noemi Truya-Abarientos, the chairperson for the Children’s Legal Bureau (CBL), also pointed out that the minimum age of 12 is inconsistent with the Family Code of the Philippines.

The Code states that the age of emancipation is 18.

“We need to make a lot of noise so the legislative body will realize the importance of increasing the minimum age for sexual consent,” said Abarientos.

Representatives from different sectors have reacted on the drafted bill during a forum held in Cebu City on Monday morning (July 30).

Jisel Opeña, president of the Cebu City Parent-Teachers Association Federation, expressed that the minimum age shall be 18 years old to coincide with the age of emancipation.

Police Inspector Jeremie Shiela Gurtiza of the Women and Children Protection Desk of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), agrees with Opeña.

“Ang gusto unta namo sa PNP (Philippine National Police) nga below 18 kay mao man na ang legal age,” said Gurtiza.

Latuno, however, admits that lobbying for the bill can be challenging, as lawmakers in Congress have legislative priorities such as federalism and the enactment of the annual budget.

“We started lobbying this bill in the 14th Congress and so far we have 4 drafted bills being reviewed at the Lower House,” said Latuno. /Delta Dyrecka Letigio, USJ-R Journalism Intern

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TAGS: age, Children’s, groups, propse, raise, rights, sexual consent

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