SENATOR Risa Hontiveros has sought an inquiry into the status, effectiveness and limitations of laws providing for special protection of children.
She has filed Senate Resolution No. 247 directing the Committee on Women, Children, and Family Relations to conduct the inquiry.
She said that the DSWD, with its attached agency, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council, and with the support of UNICEF, commissioned a study on the current status of the implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act particularly on intervention and diversion, and have raised several issues that need to be acted upon to improve the juvenile justice system, specifically those that need legislative intervention.
"Efforts are being exerted to revisit the age of sexual consent to better protect children against sexual exploitation, taking note that it is still fixed at 12 years old," said Hontiveros.
"It is to be noted that the current law does not address the legitimate relationship between minors and young adults, where the parents file a case against the young adult to forcefully separate them from the minor," she said.
She said that some parents have been reported to be abusing their parental authority by using their children to file child abuse cases against law enforcement officers who have performed their duties within the bounds of the law, and then forcing these officers to settle negating the intent of Republic Act No. 7610 to protect children from abuse.
She said that based on these concerns, "there is a need for the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to exercise its oversight function to look into the implementation of the aforementioned laws both at the local and national level with the aim of improving effectiveness in providing a holistic, efficient, implementable and comprehensive child protection system."