Lopez: Gov’t, schools, parents must work together to protect kids from sexual abuse

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By Billy Begas

Manila Rep. Manny Lopez is pleased that the law increasing the age of sexual consent has finally taken effect.

Lopez is confident that Republic Act 11648 is “a good first step” in increasing the protection of minors.

“Specially in our poorer communities like Tondo Manila, it is imperative that the government extend the scope of protection for our poor children where they are more susceptible to all forms of sexual abuse,” Lopez said.

Under the new law, any sexual act committed against minors under 16 years of age, with certain exceptions, is now automatically considered rape. Under the outdated previous law, the offended party had to be under 12 years of age.

Lopez however stressed that RA 11648 will not alone attain in full its purpose unless all relevant sectors of the community work hand-in-hand to combat these abuses and together exert all efforts to protect minors and children.

“Our schools, as mandated by the law, should ensure that they put in place learning subjects or sessions regarding rights and protection of children so they are able to identify, respond to and report rape and other sexual offenses,” he added.

Lopez also stressed the need for parents to take a more active role in the lives of their children.

“This is the most effective way of protecting our children against these abuses. As the new law takes effect today, let us not stop doing our part and continue to pursue more ways to protect the rights of all children in the country,” Lopez stressed.