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Philippines to Finally Raise Age of Consent from 12 to 16-Year-old

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Senators in the Philippines have approved a bill that will finally raise the minimum age of sexual consent in the country from 12 to 16-year-old. The bill was approved in its final reading.

The age of consent bill aims to protect children from rape and other forms of molestation. The bill was backed by 22 senators on Monday, with only one abstention. The bill was approved by the lower chamber in December last year.

The two drafts will now be consolidated then sent to the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte for approval.

The Philippines currently has the lowest minimum age of consent in all of Southeast Asia also one of the lowest in the world.

Data from the Centre for Women’s Resources in the Philippines show 7 out of 10 victims of rape are children.

Under the new consent Bill, any adult, either man or woman, engaging in sexual contact with any child male or female under 16 years of age would be committing statutory rape. For more than a century, the minimum age of consent in the Philippines has been 12-year-old.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a principal author of the Bill, said in a statement “Today, we have finally and clearly said no to the rape of our children. Today, senators have sounded the need for change to protect our children“.

In 2019, The Philippines has recorded a total of 180,916 births among adolescents girls aged 10 to 19, according to the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System. The figures are equivalent to 495 births per day to girls ageing 10 to 19-years-old.
The Philippines has recorded a 7% increase in births among girls aged under 15 and in 2019

 

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