BAGUIO CITY — As a highly urbanized center, Baguio City is at greater risks of youth’s exposure to child pornography.
According to Theresa Manglicmot of the Cordillera Youth Center (CYC) during an anti-child pornography forum here Friday, the city is at high risk in the proliferation of child pornography.
The forum was organized by the Anti-Child Pornography Alliance-Metro Baguio (ACPA-MB)
“Living in an urbanized city with easy access to technology like the Internet and cellphones, and an education center, our youth become easy target for this kind of decadence,” said Manglicmot, adding that Baguio is also a very famous tourist destination making the youth more vulnerable to these immoral acts.
In the 2006 report of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), there was no reported case of pornography in the city.
Manglicmot said this report does not mean pornography or child pornography for that matter does not exist.
According to Edwin Quinsay of ACPA-National, during a research he was doing, he came upon a blog (web log) by a foreigner inviting people to visit Baguio because there are a lot of schoolgirls and boys easily available for sex services be it for pornographic purposes or otherwise.
Most of the documented cases of child pornography are instigated by foreigners and uses Filipinos as accomplices or business partners in the form of pimping. Most of the time these are perpetuated by big organized syndicates, said Quinsay.
One of the most well-publicized widespread pedophilia in the country was the case in Pagsanjan, Laguna during the late 1980’s involving 22 foreigners and victimizing 590 children.
According to ACPA, advances in technology make the production of pornographic materials a lot easier. Digital cameras, handy video cameras, mobile phones and computers are the most pervert-friendly devices that are used nowadays for transfer, storage and mass production of sex materials.
“This only shows the need for vigilance and massive information campaign on this matter. But what the country really needs to address this issue is a law,” said Quinsay adding that at present the Philippines does not have a comprehensive anti-child pornography law.
“This is the reason why ACPA is pushing for the passing of the Senate Bill No. 2317 sponsored by Senators Jamby Madrigal and Francis Escudero, prohibiting child pornography and penalizing the perpetrators,” said Quinsay.
“Everyday the enactment of the bill is delayed, more and more Filipino children would be victimized by this worst form of child labor,” Quinsay added.
The Philippines ranks second in Asia and fourth in the world of being top exporter of child pornography paraphernalia.
Quinsay said, this disturbing reality is seldom recognized because child pornography is not visible as other child protection issues like prostitution. “Most of the time victimization of children would not be known unless it is reported by the child or by his or her kin,” added Quinsay.
The forum ended with the signing of a manifesto of unity calling to the immediate passage of the anti-child pornography bill. The activity was attended by representatives from different schools, church groups, local government units, non-government organizations, youth organizations, government agencies and individuals.
October 1 is the National Day of Unity and Awareness Against Child Pornography. # Cye Reyes