Published April 26, 2024 2:09pm
Updated April 26, 2024 2:34pm

The government has received around 279,000 reports on possible cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) in 2020, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) said Friday.


Executive Director Angelo Tapales said the Department of Justice-Office of Cybercrime received over 279,000 cybertips in 2020, a 264% increase from the 76,000 cybertips received by the agency in 2019.

“Ito ‘yung pwedeng imbestigahan ng ating mga pulis at, eventually, i-pursue at maging kaso (these may be investigated by the police and eventually pursued to be a case),” Tapales said in an interview on Balita Pilipinas Ngayon.

Meanwhile, he said that the Philippine National Police conducted 137 operations since the enactment of the OSAEC and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act in June 2022.

Tapales said 196 victims have been rescued while 63 suspects have been arrested.

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For its part, the National Bureau of Investigation conducted 45 trafficking-in-persons operations in 2023.

Citing a study of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Tapales said the research found that 84% of the victims were female.

However, he stressed that the same study found that males are equally susceptible to sexual abuse but that the number of reported cases may be lower due to “cultural factors.”

“Pag lalaki po… bawal umiyak daw, bawal mag-sumbong, bawal masyadong maarte or something, ano, which we think ano contributed to perhaps some form of underreporting or not reporting,” Tapales said.

(If you are male, you cannot cry or tell anyone, you can’t be dramatic or something, which we think contributed to perhaps some for of underreporting.)

He said the public may report OSAEC and CSAEM cases to the Makabata Helpline at 1383 and to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking at 1343.

Tapales also advised parents and guardians to closely observe their children as well as to be “responsible digital parents.”

“Tignan niyo po ang inyong mga anak, ang inyong mga pamangkin kung may pagbabago sa kanilang behavior (monitor your children and your nieces and nephews if there are changes to their behavior),” he said. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News