(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill seeking the creation of a database for sex offenders to keep the public informed and to monitor such criminals in the community.
According to Estrada in a statement on Sunday, Senate Bill No. 1291 or the proposed “National Sex Offender Registry Act” aims to establish a national sex offender registration database that may be of use both to the general public and non-government organizations working for the protection of women and children.
He stressed the necessity of the bill, citing the number of sex offenders who have been apprehended and convicted were still able to consummate their fiendish schemes against unsuspecting victims by relocating elsewhere.
“Hindi layon ng panukalang batas na ito na hiyain ang mga convicted sex offenders, bagkus, ang layunin nito para makatulong sa pagbabala sa komunidad sa kinakailangang proteksyon ng mga bata at lipunan sa krimen na kagagawan ng mga sexual predators,” Estrada said.
Under the said bill, the National Sex Offender Registry Database will be handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and will contain the names and other pertinent details of sex offenders who reside or travel to the country.
It will be available and accessible to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and concerned law enforcement agencies, and can also be shared between countries and respective law enforcement agencies if deemed necessary.
With this, convicted sex offenders before being released from imprisonment are required to register and regularly update the province, city, or municipality where they are residing, employed, or studying.
If there are changes in their location, they would be given 10 days to update their address, employment, or school. Failure to do so will be meted with one to five years of imprisonment and a fine of P10,000.
Meanwhile, those convicted in local and foreign courts shall remain in the registry for life and will be required to appear at least once a year before the local police in their place or residence to personally verify their information.
Estrada said a number of countries have already enacted similar legislation after the United States passed its national-level sex offender registration law in 1994.
“The many special penal laws against sex-related offenses so enacted of late shall be futile unless ample public protection and warning is provided for,” Estrada said in explaining the necessity of the bill.