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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to impose sanctions on internet service providers (ISPs) who allow the distribution of child pornography.

During yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Duterte ordered the DOJ to take action against online exploitation of minors.

“Various reports that reveal a surge in child pornography have caught the President’s attention, which is why he asked the Department of Justice to brief the Cabinet on the matter,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a televised briefing Tuesday.

Nograles noted that suspicious transaction reports related to online sexual exploitation during the coronavirus pandemic more than doubled from 19,000 in 2019 to 47,937 in 2020.

To address this, the secretary said the government adopted the following DOJ recommendations:

-to direct the NTC to immediately impose sanctions on ISPs for failure to fulfil their duties under Republic Act 9775. These duties include immediately notifying the (Philippine National Police) or (National Bureau of Investigation) within 7 days upon knowledge that its server or facility is being used for child pornography; reserving evidence for purpose of investigation and persecution; furnishing particulars of users involved in child pornography; and installing available technology to intercept or block access to child porn.

-to issue an executive order that will pave way for the strengthened cooperation between the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography and other relevant agencies; formulation of a case management protocol; and streamlining of online sexual exploitation information dissemination efforts

-to certify as priority the passage of bills pending in Congress to amend Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act that exempt trafficking in persons from the Anti-Wire Tapping Law; broaden membership of the IACAT; and impose obligations on ISPs and tourism establishments to destroy child pornography in the Philippines; and

-to strengthen IACAT by providing plantilla positions and additional funding.

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