The House of Representatives has approved on the third and final reading House Bill 5869 expanding Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. The bill seeks to protect women and children against electronic or Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-related violence.
The bill defines electronic violence as that which causes mental, emotional, or psychological distress.
It covers the unauthorized recording, sharing, and distribution of photos or videos showing a woman or child's private parts, as well as any form of harassment, intimidation, force, or threats via text messaging or other electronic means. The bill also applies to stalking, making of fake news, hacking of personal accounts, as well as the malicious creation of fake social media accounts.
Violators face six to twelve years' worth of imprisonment and fines worth P300,000 to P500,000, as well as mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment.
For the bill to become a law, a senate bill has to be passed before it can be submitted to the President for signing.