Press Release
May 12, 2006

Urges parents and school authorities to watch out for pornographic images not only in school supplies but in books and the Internet also

Senator Manny Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, says that pornographic and violent materials are widespread in commercial items such as reading materials and websites that can be accessed by minors. Thus, he urges authorities to be stricter in their monitoring or inspection procedures.

"The discovery of lewd pictures recently on the cover of notebooks, that were supposed to be distributed to schoolchildren, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Our children are still exposed to pornographic images or materials in various other media such as magazines, books and most especially the Internet which is widely accessible," says Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

Villar filed on the Senate Bill 751 that aims to protect the people from being exposed to pornography and violence in the Internet. The bill seeks to protect students by requiring libraries of private and public educational institutions with Internet access to install a software technology for blocking Internet websites displaying obscene and violent materials.

"The Internet is widely used by students as a tool for research most of the time. Unfortunately, obscene and violent materials are posted all over websites. Limiting Internet access may be difficult, but we can always regulate Internet access or usage inside classrooms," cites Villar.

Villar adds, "There is a wide variety of high-tech Internet blocking software available in the market and schools should install this on their computers. We should make it a requirement for all schools and violation of which will be penalized." Villar also proposes the creation of a Student Internet Protection Task Force to enforce the rules on Internet access in educational institutions. According to Villar, monitoring of video arcades or Internet cafes especially those near school campuses should be tightened.

"We should closely monitor these Internet cafes and video game stalls where many schoolchildren and students hang out during or after school. Many of these establishments do not block pornographic websites and allow even grade schoolers to their premises," further cites Villar.

Villar also filed Senate Bill 752 that seeks to protect Filipinos from obscene and indecent materials transmitted through computers by amending Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code and imposing the penalty of prision mayor plus a fine of between P6,000 to P12,000 to violators.

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