Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, in support of House Bill No. 5869

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, in support of House Bill No. 5869

The Commission on Human Rights commends the House of Representatives for voting unanimously to approve House Bill No. 5869 which would expand the coverage of Republic Act (RA) No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act and give definition to electronic violence or information and communications technology (ICT)-related violence.

Digital technology is now a part of our lives and is here to stay, with 1 in 3 internet users worldwide being children and an increasing number of individuals tethered to social media and internet. It is important that laws are expanded or appealed to cope with new challenges faced by young individuals and women who face electronic abuse. House Bill No. 5869 aside from enumerating and defining forms of electronic violence and would also strengthen laws to protect women and children from online abuse, stalking, exploitation and entitles victims of abuse to receive psychological and medical counseling and livelihood assistance from the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The Commission, as the Gender Ombud, welcomes this bill and hopes that the Senate expedites the passage of this bill to ensure that the internet remains a safe space for all members of the vulnerable sector.