Philippines are finally raising the age of consent from 12 to 16 years
Senators in the Philippines have approved a bill that will finally pass the Minimum age for sexual consent in the country from 12 to 16 years. The bill was adopted at its last reading.
The age of consent bill aims to protect children from rape and other forms of harassment. The bill was backed Monday by 22 senators with only one abstention. The bill was approved by the lower chamber in December last year.
The two drafts are now being consolidated and then sent to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for approval.
The Philippines currently has the lowest minimum age for consent in all of Southeast Asia and also one of the lowest in the world.
Data from the Center for Women’s Resources in the Philippines shows that 7 out of 10 rape victims are children.
Under the new consent law, any adult, male or female, who has sexual contact with a male or female child under the age of 16 would commit legal rape. For more than a century, the minimum age for consent in the Philippines has been 12 years.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, a lead author of the bill, said in a statement: “Today we finally and clearly said no to the rape of our children. Today Senators have expressed the need for change to protect our children. “
In 2019, a total of 180,916 births were recorded among teenage girls aged 10 to 19 in the Philippines, according to the civil status and vital statistics system. The figures correspond to 495 births per day in girls between the ages of 10 and 19.
The Philippines recorded a 7% increase in the birth rate among girls under the age of 15 in 2019
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