The provincial board has formally endorsed Senate Bill No. 739, a measure that seeks to increase the age for determining statutory rape, to provide children stronger protection from exploitation.

Board member Ryan Maminta said that the age that a person can legally engage in consensual sex vary worldwide from 14 to 18 years, while in the Philippines it is 12 years old.

Under the Revised Penal Code, a person can be charged with statutory rape only when the offended party is under 12 years old.

“Raising the minimum age of consent to 18 years old for the determination of statutory rape would also address teen prostitution and would expand the scope of prohibited sexual relations with a minor,” Maminta said.

He said that this will be in consonance with the age of majority in the Philippines which is 18, where they have a right to give consent to a contract such as to vote, obtain a driver’s license and are considered to have reached the basic level of maturity to exercise the rights and assume the responsibilities of an adult.

In February this year, Sen. Win Gatchalian proposed the raising age of sexual consent to 18 years old.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.