“I refuse to be a victim”

Combined efforts by the Provincial Women’s Commision (PWC), Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and the Rotary Club of Cebu led to the kick-off of a seminar on anti-photo and video voyeurism, anti-child pornography and anti-bullying with the tagline “I refuse to be a victim.” It was held at Cityscape Hotel last January 27.

The intention of PWC is to educate possible vulnerable targets about the threats of technology. PWC and its partners invited more than 70 high school students from different cities like Talisay, Danao, Mandaue, and Naga and some 40 representatives from  Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP)-Liloan Chapter.

“By tapping these students, we are spreading our mission through them. We want them to be secured and to signal the public that some things are being done about this,”  PWC consultant Heddah Largo said.

PSWDO supported the seminar by inviting right persons to deliver right information. Prosecutor Lolita L. Lomanta was one of the lecturers. She discussed about anti-photo and video voyeurism, anti-child pornography or cyberpornography, and anti-bullying or cyberbullying.

The seminar-orientation emphasized that these issues are happening. PWC and PSWDO noted that prostitution using technology and involving children is a serious concern. These two departments partnered to fight  against photo and video voyeurism, cyberpornography, and cyberbullying.

Jed Sherwin Uy, investigation agent of the Office of Cyber Crime from the Department of Justice, discussed about online child abuse and the initiatives of the Department of Justice regarding this matter.

Jay Salanguste, special investigator of the Cybercrime Division from the National Bureau of Investigation delivered a talk on how to identify profiles of online predators.

Authorities admitted that ending bullying or child pornography is difficult than the intervention for the victim.

 Benjamin Cuizon, federation president of Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines-Liloan Chapter said that he learned a lot in the seminar and promised to share it with others.

“Nakat-onan nako nga naa diay mga balaod nga mahimong gamiton alang aning cyber-bullying, cyber pornography ug uban pa. Amo gyud ni e-share sa among community aron ma-reduce ang nagkadaghan nga mga biktima (I have learned that there are laws that can be applied regarding cyber-bullying, cyber pornography, etc. We will share this to our community to help reduce the increasing number of victims),” Cuizon said.

R.A. No. 9775 otherwise known as an Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 declares that hiring, employing, using, persuading, inducing or coercing a child to perform in the creation or production of any form of child pornography is unlawful.

R.A. No. 9995 known as Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 targets the act of taking photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or of capturing an image of the private area of a person or persons without the latter’s consent, under circumstances in which such person/s has/have a reasonable  expectation of privacy, or the act of selling, copying, reproducing, broadcasting, sharing, showing or  exhibiting the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act is declared unlawful and prohibited.

R.A. No. 10627 known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 is an act requiring all kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools, be it public and private, to adopt policies to prevent and address the acts of bullying in their institutions.

PWC Assistant Officer Rose Jao assured that there will be more similar educational and informational seminars all throughout the year.

First District Provincial Board Member Miguel Antonio Magpale, during his welcome address, encouraged the young people to participate and cooperate by all means. Rotary Club of Cebu District Governor-Nominee Mary Anne Alcordo-Solomon also came to support the said event.