Here’s the sad reality: The age of consent in the Philippines is 12 years old and it hasn’t been changed, which proves to be dangerous. According to UNICEF Philippines, our country has the lowest age of consent in Asia, meaning that having sex with minors this young is not considered statutory rape.
Daphne Oseña-Paez recently spoke about the issue on Twitter and asked, “How can a 12-year-old child give consent to sex???” She also brought up that people under 18 aren’t allowed to get tested for HIV without parental guidance.
How can a 12 year old child give consent to sex??? How did the age of consent become 12yrs old in the #Philippines? Meanwhile people under 18 yrs of age cannot get an HIV test without parental consent. This needs to be changed. https://t.co/JVS3DjVgp7
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Win Gatchalian have been lobbying to raise the age of consent to 18 years old. This is to protect children from rape and to lower the number of teenage pregnancies in the country.
According to the Philippine Commission on Women, it is considered rape when a man has forced intercourse with victims who are under 12 years of age or is demented. And if you think that child rape isn’t common, the National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC) released a report in 2016 stating that one in five children below 18 experienced sexual violence. It was also found that perpetrators are often family members.
As citizens, it’s important that we speak out about this injustice toward children. UNICEF has an ongoing petition to end child rape to hopefully pressure the government to raise the age of consent. It’s also vital that we provide the tools to inform minors on sex, protection, and rape culture. Educational materials are readily available online, and people and groups like Now Open PH offer more knowledge on the topics mentioned.
This is long overdue and we shouldn’t stop fighting for it. Let government officials know that they should support raising the age of consent in the country. Post and tag them on social media. Do what you can to spread awareness.
Art by Marian Hukom
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