Dispatch from Crame No. 932: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Senate Committee Approval of Bill Increasing Age of Consent


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Way overdue, but nevertheless a welcome development. The approval by the Committee of Justice and Human Rights of the measure that will increase the age of sexual consent in our country last Oct. 1, has been a long-awaited piece of legislation to protect our youth. The Committee considered several bills including the one I filed last July 18, 2019, Senate Bill No. 622.

The proposed increase in the age of statutory rape from the present 12 to 16 years old, amending the Revised Penal Code, serves as the mantle of protection that the children of this country need – especially at a time when their innocence has become so easily and cheaply pawned both in the real world and the cyber world.

In 2018, I first filed my version of the measure after UNICEF Philippines started the movement to #ENDChildRape on their online platforms where they made public the horrific truth that the PH age of sexual consent is the lowest in Asia. The current age of consent which is pegged at 12 years old has also placed us in the world ranking as second only to Nigeria.

Masakit at mapait na tanong ang nag-laro sa aking isipan – paanong sa isang bansang itinatangi ang kabataan bilang pag-asa ng bayan, ay pinapabayaan natin sila sa kawalan na parang mga tupang walang pastol? A country that tags the youth as its future should then put premium on their welfare and create strongholds that would shelter them from the world’s viciousness.

Their tender and formative years should not be smeared by evils that could otherwise be prevented. They should not be robbed of their innocence while malicious and sinister beings roam freely amongst them. Panahon na para bigyan sila ng karampatang proteksyon. Kung sa edad na labindalawa ay maraming desisyong legal ang hindi nila maaring gawin, nararapat din lamang na huwag abandunahin sa kanilang mga kamay ang kanilang kapalaran.
This measure will not only protect our youth from sexual predators who may so conveniently raise the defense of consent in a court of law to exonerate them, it will likewise hopefully stem the rise in teenage pregnancies.

In 2019, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) already sounded the alarm on our numbers which was then at 530 teenage pregnancies daily – calling it a “national social emergency.” Sa bawat linggo daw, mayroon isang sampung-taong gulang na musmos ang nabubuntis – na kadalasan ay dahil sa sexual abuse o incest. Masaklap na katotohanang kailangang agad na tugunan, bigyang lunas at wakasan.

Let us vote “yes” to saving our children – to preserving their virtue, to putting an end to wanton abuse of their innocence.

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 932, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._932

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.