Registry of sex offenders bill refiled in Congress

·Contributor
·2 min read
Lawmakers from Tingog Sinirangan Party-list authored House Bill (HB) No. 2714, otherwise known as the Sex Offender Registry Act. (Photos: Yedda  Romualdez/Facebook; Jude Acidre/Facebook)
Lawmakers from Tingog Sinirangan Party-list authored House Bill (HB) No. 2714, otherwise known as the Sex Offender Registry Act. (Photos: Yedda Romualdez/Facebook; Jude Acidre/Facebook)

A national database of convicted sexual offenders similar to the one existing in the United States is being pushed once again in Congress, in order to protect the rights and welfare of children and other vulnerable sectors in society.

Tingog Sinirangan Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre seek to establish a National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) and make it widely available to the public.

“The Registry shall be made available in a website that is accessible by the public and shall only include relevant information about the sex offender, such as name, recent photograph, and the crime committed,” the bill’s explanatory note reads.

“The establishment of this Registry will aid the government in ensuring public safety and in increasing the awareness of the community, thereby providing stronger protection to Filipinos, especially the children and the vulnerable,” the bill further pointed out.

Under House Bill (HB) No. 2714, or the Sex Offender Registry Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will set up a database of convicted sex offenders and other persons flagged by local, foreign, and international courts to have been adjudged guilty of rape, crimes against chastity, and violation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004. The data would be for sharing between countries and respective law enforcement agencies.

It would also require the convicted sex offenders to register and regularly update the province, city, or municipality where they are residing, currently employed, or are studying. If they changed addresses, they are required to update the registration within 10 days from the said change.

The bill’s Section 7 also mandates the DOJ to conduct educational campaigns and information dissemination to inform the public of the existence of the registry.

“The campaign shall ensure that the procedures on how to use the Registry and the contents of the website will be easily understood by the public,” the bill said.

Sex offenders who willfully failed to register or update their information shall be punished with one to five years of imprisonment, and a fine of P10,000.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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