Save the Children Philippines lauds the approval of House Bill 7836 on “Increasing the Age of Statutory Rape” on second reading that seeks to penalize an adult of statutory rape if he or she has sexual intercourse with a minor below 16 years of age, even if the child gave consent.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said:
“We welcome this legislative victory as we celebrate the National Children’s Month and International Day for Prevention of Violence on Women and Girls that will strengthen the protection of children from abuse and exploitation, and at the same time, recognize the rights of adolescents to health and development.”
The approval of HB 7836 titled “An Act Providing for Stronger Protection Against Rape and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Increasing the Age for Determining the Commission of Statutory Rape” seeks to increase the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16 years.
The country’s anti-rape law signed in 1997 considers sexual intercourse with a child below 12 years of age as statutory rape – the lowest in Southeast Asia.
Save the Children Philippines has been advocating for the passage of the bill to protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation as this will have lifelong impacts on children’s health, well-being, and future.
The said bill adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that guarantees the rights of children and young people to be protected from sexual abuse, particularly the vulnerable sectors such as the poor and marginalized, those with disabilities, and children of indigenous people’s families.