PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — With the spotlight on various forms of pornography, Nacionalista Party president Senator Manny Villar warns school authorities and the education department anew to ensure that schools and its vicinities are free from pornographic materials or access to them.
“Classes in many schools will start next week already. As in past school openings, we should prepare not only school facilities and supplies, but I also urge parents and school authorities to watch out for sources of pornography inside the schools, particularly libraries with Internet facilities,” says Villar.
He adds, “In the past, there were even instances that school supplies such as notebooks and even books contain pornographic images, these should not be allowed. The authorities should be stricter in their monitoring and inspection procedures.
While he was still chairman of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, Villar focused on preventing the proliferation of pornographic and violent materials, which are widespread in commercial items such as reading materials and websites that can be accessed by minors.
Villar has earlier filed 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.
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 and P12,000 to violators.
“The Internet has become a very powerful medium for learning and information. Unfortunately, obscene and violent materials can also be accessed online. We should regulate Internet access or usage inside classrooms or even outside, in public Internet shops, which students frequent,” cites Villar.
Villar also proposed 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.
“Most of these establishments do not block pornographic websites and allow even grade-school pupils to their premises. You can see young children viewing lewd images or even chatting with strangers online,” further cites Villar.