In August 2022, the Philippine government declared an all-out war against the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla said the government and its partners would adopt a "comprehensive approach" to stop OSAEC.
On August 23, 2022, the Philippine government declared the "War on Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children". The Philippines currently ranks number one in the world in online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that OSEC cases in the country rose by 280 percent in 2022. They pointed to three main drivers of the continued rise of OSEC in the Philippines:
- The country's visa-free policy
- The high use of technology
- Exacerbated poverty amid the pandemic.
Now, the Philippine government is working on a comprehensive approach to address OSEC, with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) leading the action in the public sector. The Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BOC) are also included in the DOJ IACAT campaign.
Presently, the Philippine government is working with telecommunications companies and Internet service providers (ISP) to filter the OSEC payment transactions that mostly happen online.
There are many ways for local government units (LGUs) to contribute to the national government's efforts against OSEC, including:
- Activating the Barangay Child Protection Council (BCPC) in your barangays. The BCPC is in charge of planning, implementing activities, and addressing issues pertaining to children on the barangay level.
- Drafting city and municipal ordinances that support law enforcement and child protection efforts. Ordinances may include the establishment of local councils to combat online sexual abuse of children and training law enforcement officials, social workers, and community leaders in detecting and suppressing online child abuse, including trauma-informed care techniques for frontline responders.
- Urging citizens to report any suspected cases of sexual exploitation to the task force. They can call the action line of the DOJ IACAT at 1343 for NCR or 02-1343 for outside NCR. The PNP WCPC can be reached at 0945-863225 or (032) 410-8483 for the Visayas, and 0917-180-6037 or 0928-604-6425 in Mindanao. The NBI-AHTRAD can be contacted through its hotline at (02) 8521-9208 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.