Protect the youth*

IT IS but proper to finally pay attention to the welfare of our daughters in the face of some lustful men who may be overcome by sexual desires and find satisfaction in abusing and depriving them of their innocence.

Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed a bill seeking to raise the age of sexual consent from the current 12 to 18 to protect the youth from sexual exploitation. The senator pointed out that under the 1997 Anti-Rape Law, the country’s age of sexual consent is one of the lowest in the world.

In increasing the age of consent to 18 years, the state would be sending a message that the youth would be protected by all means and at all costs. The innocence of the youth would be guarded and it would prevent sexual predators from deflowering our children.

De Lima explained that a 12-year-old kid has only reached the sixth grade and has barely gone through puberty. Most of them have barely gone into a relationship with the opposite sex.

The child hardly knows about sexual intercourse due to lack of sexual education and is prohibited from availing condoms and other contraception until she has reached the age of majority, conceived or suffered a miscarriage. Allowing them at the age of 12 to decide on their own if they should engage in sexual intercourse would be too precarious for their future.

I must admit that although under detention, De Lima still functions as a senator should and made her point of view clear as day. More importantly, a government official finally showed genuine concern for our children, especially our young daughters, under a law that has been enforced for more than 20 years.

*              *              *

Kudos to Barangay Chairperson Nancy Amante of Barangay Palanan, Makati for taking swift action on the complaint of Mr. Jhoe Chan.

Mr. Chan narrated to Firing Line how Amante and her Bantay Bayan officers – Marvin Esteban, Joel Quirante, and Leoncio dela Cruz – solved his problem of laborers throwing trash, including dried cement and cigarette butts, and dumping urine in his back yard during the construction of a house on Laredo Street, which is situated behind his residence on Madras St. There was also an instance when a steel pipe fell on the rooftop.

After being slapped with a couple of warnings, the construction foreman was obliged to install debris netting to avoid future problems for Mr. Chan.

To this, Firing Line salutes Chairperson Amante and her people.

*              *              *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/


*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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