By Andreah Dianne M. Cartagena

Senator Jinggoy Estrada filed Senate Bill 1291 which will provide the public with pertinent information and data on sex offenders within the country.

Photo Courtesy of Inquirer/Senate of the Philippines

Estrada explained that sex offenders, after being apprehended and convicted, would still commit their crimes in other places to avoid detection. 

The lawmaker further emphasized that this bill would be much more needed as there has been a "disturbing increase" in sex-related offenses over the years, and it has been causing panic and alarm to the public.

Under the Senate bill, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will create the National Sex Offender Registry Database which will include the offenders' full name, aliases, permanent and present residential address, employment history, fingerprints, DNA samples, complete criminal history, education information, and recent photograph. 

The registry will contain all offenders in the country regardless of nationality and citizenship which will be available to the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to determine the sex offenders within the radius. 

Estrada noted that this registry would also be helpful to the general public and non-governmental organizations that protect women and children, a demographic often targeted by sexual crimes. 

The bill also stated that a "sex offender" is any person convicted of rape, crimes committed against chastity, or violating Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004. It also pertains to convicts from foreign courts of similar sexual or violent crimes.

This database must be updated regularly by the sex offenders, and failing to register or update will be punished with five-year imprisonment and P10, 000 fine.

The creation of a sex offender registry was first proposed in 2015 by then ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao and was called for a revival in August 2022. 

Edited by Genevieve Candace Poquiz