World Vision’s Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) celebrates World Day Against Trafficking (WDAT) through a collaboration among Department of Justice, Quezon City Local Government, Philippine Children Ministries Network Inc., ECPAT Philippines, and Lingap Pangkabataan Inc. on July 12, 2023.
The activity is aimed at gaining a thorough understanding of Republic Act 11930, also known as the “Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act,” and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), in order to hold a substantive and meaningful consultation with Quezon City (QC) stakeholders on the proposed Anti-OSAEC ordinance in Quezon City.
Last July 30, 2022, Republic Act No. 11930 lapsed into law providing a stronger protection for children against those who produce, distribute, possess, and access child sexual abuse and exploitation materials. The passage of the law gave child rights advocates renewed optimism in their struggle against one of the world’s most heinous crimes.
In celebration of WDAT, Project ACE is bringing together 70 individuals composed of QC – Program Implementation Sub-Committee on Child Labor and QC Council for the Protection of Children including child representatives, barangay council members, Sanggunian Kabataan chairpersons, and Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children from Project ACE QC pilot areas namely Barangay Bagong Silangan, Barangay Sauyo and Barangay Matandang Balara, and accredited non-government organizations. Through the activity, stakeholders would not only have a thorough understanding of the law, but would also prioritize the adoption of an Anti-OSAEC ordinance in the city.
In her welcome remarks, Hon. Geleen G. Lumbad, City Councilor and Chairman of the Committee on Children’s Affairs, underscored that “our office and the entire city council support the continuous efforts of Quezon City in providing protection to the children. We are espousing the enactment of the Anti-OSAEC ordinance in Quezon City which is an ordinance prohibiting acts of OSAEC in Quezon City with corresponding penalties, thereafter providing a supportive environment for the survivors, and providing funds thereof. The localization of RA 11930 is of great importance so that the city can strictly monitor and enforce the said ordinance to diminish and extinguish crimes and exploitation of children.”
During the presentation of the proposed Anti-OSAEC ordinance in Quezon City, Atty. Rafael Jerome M. Mendoza highlighted the need to localize the Anti-OSAEC law in the city. “As public servants in our LGU, we know the situation in our community more than the others. Thus, we have the capacity to focus our work in different areas of the city that have high cases of abuses and exploitation. Our constituents, especially the children, must be safeguarded at all times in Quezon City,” he added.
The program concluded with closing remarks from Project ACE Manager Anita T. Garcia, who emphasized the need of collaboration in a country regarded as a global hotspot for OSAEC. “Project ACE will continue its efforts in capacitating the Philippine government to end OSAEC in our country. The digital world can both do good and harm to our children which is why it is crucial that we work together to prevent and respond to these alarming issues. I will eagerly await the adoption of the ordinance that would put an end to this horrific crime,” she added.
With the support of the United States Department of Labor, World Vision’s Project ACE was launched to strengthen the capacity of the Philippine government to address the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL), including Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC), and Violations of Acceptable Conditions of Work (ACW). Funding is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL 34007-19-75-K. 100 percent of the total costs of the project in the Philippines is financed with United States Department of Labor funds.
Media Contact: Pauline Giselle D. Navarro Communications Officer, Project ACE World Vision Development Foundation Inc. 0906 455 7265 Pauline_navarro@wvi.org