THE House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 4, approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 5869, which seeks to protect women and children from all forms of electronic violence.
HB 5869 will expand Republic Act No. 9262, or the Anti-violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, by imposing penalties for electronic violence or ICT (information and communication technology)-related violence against women and children.
Electronic or ICT-related violence refers to any act or omission involving the use or exploitation of data or any form of information and communications technology which causes or is likely to cause mental, emotional or psychological distress or suffering to the woman and her children.
Under HB 5869, people involved in unauthorized recording, uploading, and sharing of photos, videos, or audio files that show private parts of women and children, sexual intercourse, sexually-related verbal or non-verbal expression will be penalized.
The bill will also protect women and children against emotional abuse sent through text messages and other forms of cyber communication.
Hacking of social media accounts, online stalking, spreading false news about women and children through the use of electronic devices will be penalized under the bill.
People who violate HB 5869 will face jail time for six years and one day up to 12 years.
The bill will also impose a fine of P300,000 up to P500,000 worth of fine. Violators will be required to undergo psychological therapy. (SunStar Philippines)